"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."