ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- A well-known Kurdish political prisoner was executed without notice to family earlier this week, sending shock and outrage through the opposition movement in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mansour Arvand, a 39-year-old former wrestler from Mahabad, had been sentenced in 2011 for the capital crime of "Moharebeh," which has been translated from Farsi as "enemy of God."
His death by hanging has angered Kurdish activists in Iran and abroad who had expressed hope that the new government of President Hassan Rouhani would improve the situation of many Kurdish political prisoners.
According to an opposition website, Arvand was also convicted of "propaganda against the system and membership in the Kurdistan Democratic Party."
The National Council of Resistance in Iraq wrote: "During the four years of his imprisonment in various prisons, including the intelligence prison of Mahabad and Evin Prison, he underwent the most severe tortures and was suffering from various illnesses because of that, including renal infection.
He was executed despite the fact that he had been told that his sentence had been commuted to life in prison."
In 2011, Arvand was reportedly arrested in his home in Mahabad, a Kurdish city in northwest of Iran. He spent months in custody of the Iranian Intelligence, or Etelaat.
A year later, he was accused of collaboration with the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran.
Arvand denied the allegations but in 2012 was sentenced to death by the Mahabad Islamic Revolutionary Court, Branch 1.
Arvand was transferred in 2014 to Mahabad Prison and was allegeldy informed that his sentence had been reduced to life imprisonment.
Last month, Arvand was transferred from Mahabad Prison to Miandoab Prison without explanation, according to opposition reports.
On Monday, Arvand’s family was called into the prison and informed that their son was hanged the day before, according to the Human Rights Defenders Association of Kurdistan.
According to Amnesty International, Iran executed 289 prisoners last year, the second-most in the world. Amnesty claimed without verification at least 454 more prisoners were executed without acknowledgment by the Iranian authorities.