Tuesday 24 April 2012

After 19 months death row inmate finally indicted

Kurdish political prisoner Behrouz Alakhani, currently being held in Orumiyeh Detention Center, is spending his nineteenth month in solitary confinement. A local source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Alakhani has been sentenced to death for “cooperating with PJAK” and “participating in the murder of the Khoy Prosecutor.”

The source also told the Campaign that Alakhani, a 26-year-old Kurdish citizen of Salmas, is in grave condition and has been detained in Salmas, Khoy and Orumiyeh detention centers.

According to the source, Alakhani has been subjected to the most severe psychological and physical torture. During this time, despite his family’s appeal to Salmas and Orumiyeh judicial and security organizations, no responses have been provided to them about Alakhani.

“After 19 months, this young Kurdish man was transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison. Because the political prisoner was in a poor psychological shape and evidence of torture was visible on his body, on orders from Orumiyeh Intelligence Office, he was transferred to the ward where drug-related criminals are kept,” said the local human rights source.

Authorities have prohibited Alakhani from telephone contact with his family and he has only been able to see his family once a month in the presence of security forces. “After near 20 months [in prison], the Prosecutor for Orumiyeh General and Revolutionary Courts indicted him on charges of ‘cooperating with The Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK),’ and ‘participation in the murder of Khoy Prosecutor’ and he was put on trial at Branch One of Orumiyeh Revolutionary Court. But due to his lack of mental balance and upon request by his court-appointed lawyer, his trial was delayed for several weeks.”

According the source, Behrouz Alakhani was detained in the Salmas Intelligence Office Detention Center immediately after his arrest. Two days later, authorities transferred him to Orumiyeh Intelligence Office Detention Center. On the third day of his arrest, security forces stormed the Kurdish citizen’s home and after searching the premises took several of his personal items with them.

The source told the Campaign that Alakhani’s original charges were “cooperating with PJAK.” After being interrogated for several months, he was additionally charged with “participating in the murder of Khoy Prosecutor.”

“During all phases of the interrogations, this Kurdish political prisoner refuted the charge of participating in the murder of Khoy Prosecutor,” said the source.

“The judge, however, found the defendant guilty of ‘participating in the murder’ and issued a death sentence against him based only on his own understanding and knowledge and testimony of a friend of this political prisoner, who has described him as “worried and anxious” on the night of the murder. Behrouz Alakhani’s case is now pending final ruling in the Supreme Court,” the source added.

“Eventually, on 14 October 2011, during a minutes-long trial session in the presence of a court-appointed lawyer, the Prosecutor’s representative, and a representative from Orumiyeh Intelligence office, he was sentenced to death on charges of ‘moharebeh (enmity with God) through effective cooperation with PJAK and participation in the murder of Khoy Prosecutor.’ In a separate case for ‘possession of a rifle’ that never existed, he was also sentenced to an additional 10 years in prison. After his court-appointed lawyer appealed the decision, the case has been forwarded to the Supreme Court. This political prisoner’s health conditions are reported as serious and due to the sensitivity of his case, prison authorities have refused to transfer him to a hospital outside the prison,” the source told the Campaign.

Eyewitnesses told the local source that after his arrest, security forces had closed down the streets leading to Alakhani’s house for several hours, causing fear and intimidation in the neighborhood.

Source: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

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