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Freedom House Condemns Execution of Baloch and Kurdish Prisoners in Iran
Freedom House strongly condemns the recent execution of two Kurdish political prisoners and 16 Baloch prisoners in Iran.
The Iranian government claims the prisoners were hanged in retaliation for carrying out an attack along the border with Pakistan that resulted in the deaths of Iranian security personnel. However, reports have emerged that the 16 prisoners were sentenced to prison prior to the attack, meaning it is unlikely that they were involved. The two Kurdish men, Habibollah Golparipour and Reza Esmaeili, were sentenced to death for their membership in the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, two other Kurdish political prisoners, were sentenced to death on similar charges; their executions are believed to be imminent.
Iran has executed more than 400 people in 2013 alone, with many of the executions occurring after the June election of President Hassan Rouhani. These executions illustrate that, despite President Rouhani’s recent overtures towards the international community, and a few positive steps including the release of some prominent political prisoners, the human rights situation in Iran continues to warrant serious concern.
While the resumption of negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program is encouraging, these negotiations must not be allowed to overshadow Iran’s ongoing human rights violations.
Freedom in the World 2013: Iran
Freedom of the Press 2013: Iran
Freedom on the Net 2013: Iran
Blog: Freedom at Issue