(Photo: Mr Adnan Hassanpour) Tuesday, July 17th, the Sanandaj’s Tribunal of Revolution in Iranian Kurdistan sentenced to death two Kurdish journalists and human rights activists: Mr Adnan Hassanpour and Mr Hiva Abdolvahed Botimar will then be hanged.
Mr Adnan Hassanpour works for the weekly magazine Asu and was accused of attempting State’s security because he wrote articles about public demonstrations which took place in Iranian Kurdistan during 2006.
Mr Hiva Abdolvahed Botimar, freelance journalist, was accused of being in touch with two democratic organizations which are instead supposed to be ‘subversive’: the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, which is member of Socialist International, and Komalah, which has often been received as a guest by international and European institutions.
In Italy, Information Safety and Freedom, as well as Reporters Sans Frontières abroad, received and supported the international appeal to save Mr Adnan and Mr Hiva. Articolo 21, Nessuno tocchi Caino and Fnsi supported this appeal too. But Italian newspapers and broadcasts didn’t take care of it: as far as I’m concerned, La Stampa and RaiNews 24 are the exception to the rule.
Mr Giuseppe Giulietti, Articolo 21 spokesman, reports: “La sostanziale censura imposta dai media italiani alla vicenda dei due giornalisti curdo-iraniani contrasta […] con l’iniziativa assunta dal Governo per ottenere la moratoria universale sulla Pena di Morte. […] Un disinteresse che induce l’atroce sospetto che questi due condannati a morte, essendo iraniani, curdi, laici e addirittura socialisti, non rientrino nello schema dominante dello scontro di civiltà risultando alla fine scomodi per tutti” [The substantial censorship by Italian media about this story, involving two Kurdish-Iranian journalists, is in conflict with the Italian Government commitment to get the universal moratorium on Death Penalty. […] This lack of interest produces a very bad doubt: being Iranian, Kurdish, lay and even socialist, those two death-sentenced persons escape the dominant Clash of Civilizations scheme: they are then inconvenient for everyone.]
At present, nobody knows where Mr Adnan and Mr Hiva are secluded. “My son has only one fault: he is fiercely Kurdish and he can’t stand injustice” said Mrs Ayesheh Zamani, Adnan’s mother. “Free men cannot and must not accept that, during XXI century, intellectuals and journalists are hanged because they talk about freedom and ask for democracy” said Mrs Hiro Botimar, Hiva’s wife.
After the two sentences, Kurdish journalists recently made a 72 hours hunger strike and stopped working. At present, in addition to Mr Hassanpour and Mr Botimar, those Kurdish journalists and activists are in jail too: Mr Ejlal Aghvami, reporter for Payam Kurdistan; Sadegh Kabudvand, director of the Human Rights Centre of Iranian Kurdistan; trade unions’ members Mahmoud Salehi and Loghman Mohri. Recently, 40 Iranian members of Majlis, the Iranian Parliament, wrote a letter to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reporting abuses against press freedom in Iran. According to Amnesty International, 177 persons have been executed in Iran during the first half of 2007.
Act now and join the international appeal (English / Italian) to save Mr Adnan Hassanpour and Mr Hiva Abdolvahed Botimar.
“Or ti piaccia gradir la sua venuta: / libertà va cercando, ch’è sì cara, / come sa chi per lei vita rifiuta” [Now be pleased to support his coming here. / He goes in search of freedom, which is so dear, / As he who gives his life for it would know.] (Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio, I, 70-73, translation by James Finn Cotter).