Kurdish man Shahram Ahmadi was executed on Tuesday. Photo: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Iran executed as many as 20 prisoners on Tuesday, including a Kurdish man accused of being a member of a terrorist group after being convicted on the basis of a confession obtained under torture, a human rights agency in Iran reported.
Shahram Ahmadi, about 40 years old, was hanged in Rajaee Shahr Prison Wednesday afternoon, a member of his family confirmed to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (the Campaign).
“They called us this morning to go visit him in Tehran for the last time,” the family member said. “We got on the road, but they called us on our way and told us not to go to prison, and to go to the morgue in Kahrizak instead. We realized he must have been executed.”
The family was given Ahmadi’s body for burial Wednesday evening.
Ahmadi was arrested in Sanandaj, northern Iran, on April 26, 2009. He was unarmed when arrested but was shot several times, resulting in the loss of a kidney the Campaign reported. He was accused of membership in the Tawhid and Jihad terrorist group and being in position of four Kalashnikovs.
A source told the Campaign that Ahmadi and some friends were stopped by Iranian security agents when they left a mosque in Sanandaj. The group was ordered to stop but Ahmadi ignored the order and was shot as he walked away.
Ahmadi had attended Sunni religious classes and distributed Sunni literature as a youth.
“Making speeches, distributing books and pamphlets, or opposing the government are not capital offenses,” the source told the Campaign. “Unfortunately, Judge Moghisseh said that Shahram’s first two crimes are that he’s a Sunni and a Kurd. Therefore, he was presumed guilty from the start.”
Ahmadi was held in solitary confinement for 34 months and confessed under torture. His co-accused, his younger brother Bahram and a friend, Asghar Rahimi, were executed at the same prison in December 2012.
In addition to Ahmadi, at least 20 other prisoners, all Sunnis, were hanged on Wednesday, the Campaign reported.
The total number executed in the one day may be as high as 36, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), which had reports of 36 death row prisoners, all Sunnis, being taken to solitary confinement for execution.
“The families of 21 prisoners were summoned to the prison last [Monday] night to have the last visit with their loves ones,” HRANA stated.
Iran is second only to China in the number of executions carried out. In 2015, the Islamic Republic put to death at least 977 people, according to figures from Amnesty International.