Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Do Not Remain Silent

Sister of Imprisoned Kurdish Journalist
‎"I scream in a loud voice: what has happened that no one is willing to listen to the pleas of so ‎many human-loving friends and activists who protested this verdict?"‎
These are the words of Adnan Hassanpour’s sister who found out on the Internet that her ‎brother's death sentence was upheld by Iran’s supreme court: "I feel like they are taking the ‎world away from me," she told Rooz in an exclusive interview.‎
Despite massive protests by human rights activists, Iran's supreme court last week upheld Adnan ‎Hassanpour's death sentence and notified his attorney of the judgement, Mohammad Saleh ‎Nikbakht, after a few days delay. The supreme court's 32nd bench struck doown Hiva Botimar's ‎death sentence but upheld Adnan Hassanpour's. According to Hassanpour's attorneys the only ‎way to change the execution of the death sentence now remains with parts of article 18 of ‎supplemental rules of civil procedure. According to the provision, a convicted party can appeal a ‎supreme court ruling and request a review by the attorney general or another qualified body. ‎
Adnan Hassanpour and Hiva Botimar were arrested 10 months ago in Marivan. Shortly after, a ‎Marivan court convicted both to death for "espionage" and "Moharebeh," (literally "fighting with ‎God"), a charge that carries the death penalty under Iranian law.
‎The two journalists' death sentences sparked a wave of protests, but the supreme court still ‎upheld Hassanpour's death penalty. Following the supreme court’s decision, Hassanpour's sister, ‎Leili Hassanpour, told Rooz in an exclusive interview, "I feel like they are taking the world away ‎from me. When I read the news on the Internet yesterday I thought I was dreaming. I was ‎frozen, I could only read parts of the report. I was so shocked and sad that I could not ‎understand anything, and I still can't believe it."
‎She added, "The only thing we can do now is to ask all defenders of liberty and human rights not ‎to remain silent and work for the release of our loved ones, whose only crime was to voice their ‎opinion and work toward a better society. I ask the attorneys in the case to act more decisively ‎than before.
I ask all of our compassionate friends not to leave us alone and to work toward ‎saving the life of a person who is spending his dear youth years in prison." ‎I asked Hassanpour's sister if Adnan's mother or Adnan himself were aware of the death ‎sentence. "My mother does not know. Nobody in our family has the courage to tell my mother ‎because she has heart problems and a thousand others. She will most certainly not be able to ‎handle the news. My mother has been praying in the past four months, day and night, for ‎Adnan's release", Adnan’s sister said.
‎In a short interview with Rooz, Adnan Hassanpour's attorney, Mohammad Saleh Nikbakht, said, ‎‎"This ruling is completely unlawful and inhumane and we will forcefully appeal it. We have ‎hope that it will be overturned."

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