Kamal Hassan Ramezan faces charges of belonging to the armed Kurdish group PJAK and for killing an IRGC member in 2011. Photo: HRDI
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Amnesty International is calling on Iranian authorities to re-examine a decision to execute a Kurdish man from Rojava, or Syrian Kurdistan, who has been charged with being a member of the PKK. The individual, Kamal Hassan Ramezan, denies being in Iran when Kurdish opposition groups killed an IRGC member in 2011.
“Halt any plans to execute Kamal Hassan Ramezan, quash both his convictions and death sentence, and grant him retrials in line with international fair trial standards without recourse to the death penalty,” wrote Amnesty in a recent report.
The Iran Human Rights Monitor (IHRM) reported that Ramezan was transferred “unexpectedly” on Monday to the Urmia IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) Detention Center, where he faces an “imminent execution.”
IHRM added that recent clashes between Kurdish opposition groups in Paveh, Mariwan, and Oshnavieh may be the impetus for the transfer.
Ramezan was arrested by the IRGC in August 2014 in Urmia by the IRGC. Amnesty reports that “he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated and told to make a ‘confession’ in front of a video camera.” He has also been denied legal representation.
While in prison, Iranian authorities convicted and sentenced a person named “Kamal Soor” in his absence for “enmity against God,” and they now believe Soor and Ramezan are the same person.
Soor was convicted of killing IRGC units in 2011 as a member of the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), the Iranian extension of the PKK.
“Kamal Hassan Ramezan has a goitre (a swelling in the neck resulting from an enlarged thyroid gland) and needs specialized medical care outside prison, which he has so far been refused by the authorities,” added Amnesty.
Second only to China, Iran carries out the most capital punishments in the world. The Kurdish minority in Iran comprise a disproportionate percent of those executed.