In the early hours of Sunday 9 May 2010, the Islamic regime of Iran executed political prisoners Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian. The four young men and one woman were executed for their political opposition to the regime. Farzad Kamangar was a teacher and human rights activist who was arrested in 2006 and charged with ‘enmity against God’ in a ‘trial’ that lasted seven minutes. Mehdi Islamian was arrested on May 4, 2009 and spent six months in solitary confinement; his brother has also been executed. Shirin Alam Hooli was arrested in May 2008 in Tehran and sentenced to death in November 2009. Ali Heydarian and Farhad Vakili were imprisoned since 2006/2007.
The sentences were carried out in secret, without their families or lawyers being informed, and despite the fact that three of the cases were under review. The Islamic regime has refused to hand over the bodies of the dead unless their families guarantee that there will be no protests in Iran and abroad.
Since yesterday, thousands have gathered in protests at the Islamic Republic’s embassies and consulates in various cities across the globe. In London, Paris and Frankfurt angry demonstrators pelted the buildings with eggs, red paint and stones.
The families of the five had called for a demonstration outside Tehran University in Iran on Monday 10 May, which was attacked by the regime’s security forces. On May 13 a general strike has been called in Iranian Kurdistan and elsewhere. Many are expected to join this day of protest.
Iran Solidarity is outraged at the executions of the five political prisoners as well as the recent execution of 45 Afghan immigrants in Iran and calls on people everywhere to stand in protest against executions in Iran and everywhere by joining the May 13 general strike and ongoing protests at the regime’s embassies or consulates or by carrying out acts of solidarity against executions wherever they are. Another 27 political prisoners are at imminent risk of execution and need public support.
Farzad Kamangar’s mother recently said: ‘If anyone can do anything, please do. Do not let them execute youngsters en masse. You and the world shall be my defence. Please let the world hear my plea.’
12 May 2010 Update
Four days after the heinous executions of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian, five political prisoners, by the Islamic Republic of Iran their families have still not succeeded in getting the bodies of their loved ones back for burial. The families remain in Tehran going from office to office and building to building in order to get a response. The regime is demanding that the families of the executed give guarantees that there will not be any ‘troubles’ when the bodies are released to them.
Today 12 May, the families of the executed have been standing in front of the Islamic Assembly (Majlis) from early morning. Farzad Kamangar’s lawyer and relatives have informed us that they are still waiting.
Yesterday, in Maku, Shirin’s mother and sister were arrested and subsequently released. In Tehran and in front of Tehran University where protestors had gathered the regime brought out its security in full force and in Iranian Kurdistan it has imposed an unofficial military rule.
The International Committee Against Executions has received news that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a number of Farzad Kamangar’s family members, namely, Soltaneh Rezaie (mother), Mehrdad Kamangar (brother), Shirin Kamangar (sister), and Javid Kamangar (15 year old nephew).
There is news from Iranian Kurdistan that tensions have heightened there. Thousands of leaflets calling for a general strike on May 13 have been distributed in various cities. Many of the schools in which Farzad was a teacher and in villages around Kamyaran are closed.
According to the latest news from Evin prison, the executed were told of their execution the night before and immediately taken to special cells. Shirin was studying when they came for her. Other prisoners said they heard her shouting and asking for permission to call and say goodbye to her mother, which was not granted. Others in her unit waited for her until morning when the guards came to collect her things and were then told that she had been executed.
On Saturday 8 May at 4pm Farzad spoke to his family though unaware that he was to be executed early May 9.
The regime brutally executed them and now refuses to hand over their bodies. It has even issued arrest warrants for Farzad’s mother and other relatives.
The International Committee against Executions and Iran Solidarity calls on people everywhere to step up their protests against executions and the Islamic regime of Iran and join the May 13 general strike in Kurdistan and elsewhere.
May 13 2010 update
The families of the five executed political prisoners returned back home from Tehran on 13 May without the bodies of their loved ones. The regime has refused to hand over their bodies to their bereaved families. They have told the families that they will inform them of where they have been buried in ten days time whilst adding that they will be buried in a special place given that they were not ‘Muslims.’ The regime is holding their bodies as hostage and has warned the families not to hold memorial ceremonies for them and not to participate in the 13 May general strike.
The regime has also been putting pressure on the families of the executed. Ali Heydarian’s brother was summoned to warn their family not to take part in the strike. Shirin’s mother and sister, and later grandfather, uncle and cousin were arrested and then released on bail.
There are reports that the security forces have come out in full force in the neighbourhood of Farzad Kamangar’s family who have returned home but people are refusing to leave them on their own.
More Background information
Listen to a heartwrenching interview with Farzad, Shirin and Mehdi's lawyer, Khalil Bahramian in Persian on Youtube or see below:
He says he is shocked at the executions; all their files were under review. He breaks down crying when he says Shirin had promised to study; she didn't even speak Persian (but Kurdish). They made up a case against her. He says what has happened is heinous. In five, six minutes they decide to kill someone - it is intolerable.
He goes on to say you killed them - why? For what crime? For setting of bombs - it is a lie and I say it here...
Here is some background information on Farzad Kamangar
Here is a transcript of a conversation Farzad had with his mother in January 2010.
Interview with Farzad Kamangar’s brother after the execution.
Here is a letter from Farzad Kamangar dated November 2006.
Farzad’s letter to his students written in 2008.
Here is a video clip of Farzad with his students on Youtube or below:
Another letter from Farzad on how one is forbidden to write.
Letter from Shirin Alam Hooli.
A letter from Shirin in January 2010.
Shirin Alan Hooli was scheduled to be released.
Letter about 8 May 2010 when three of the political prisoners were called out and never returned.