Ramin Hossein Panahi is shown in this undated image. Photo: Kurdistan HRN
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Forty lawyers and activists wrote an open letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, asking him to stop the execution of Kurdish prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi.
"In this coming Ramadan Eid, we ask you as the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran to deal with the case of Ramin Hossein Panahi, a citizen of Iranian Kurdistan, with forgiveness," the activists wrote in the letter, published by ISNA.
Panahi, 22, was arrested on June 2017 in Sanandaj and charged with being a member of the Kurdish opposition party Komala. Prosecutors said Panahi had received military training and was carrying a gun and a grenade at the time of his arrest.
The punishment for those who fight against the Islamic Republic is the death penalty.
In May, Panahi's brother Rafiq told Rudaw that his brother is a Komala Peshmerga, yet he was in Rojhelat (Iranian Kurdistan) to visit family when he was shot by Iran’s security forces.
"According to Article 278 of the Islamic penal code, the supreme leader has the right to act with forgiveness in such cases ... so the citizens of Kurdistan will ask you to deal with the case of Ramin Hossein Panahi with mercy," these lawyers and activists requested.
The lawyers emphasized that Panahi’s parents are old and a stay of execution would appease the people of Iranian Kurdistan.
Panahi's family and international human rights organizations are worried that the Islamic Republic might execute Ramin Hossein Panahi after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Panahi was held in solidarity confinement for several months. His health has deteriorated in prison and he is suffering from kidney failure and amnesia. He has been denied medical treatment and was subjected to torture, according to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).
Kurdish men are among the biggest victim of Iran’s capital punishment as large numbers are annually hung with cranes in the public area. Iran carries out the second-most capital punishment executions in the world, behind China.