Amnesty International urged the Iranian government is to reveal the full truth concerning the secret execution of Hedayat Abdollahpour and return his body to his family.
The international rights group is also calling on the Iranian authorities to account for why they led his family and lawyers to believe that he was still alive for weeks after he was forcibly disappeared.
Hedayat Abdollahpour was sentenced to death in 2017 following a grossly unfair trial, in connection with an armed clash between the Revolutionary Guards and members of KDPI which took place on June 14, 2016.
Iranian authorities have a long-standing history of secretly executing members of ethnic minority groups, and refusing to reveal their fate and the whereabouts of their remains for years.
Abdollahpour was transferred last May 09 from the Central Prison of Urumieh, in West Azerbaijan province, to an undisclosed location. Over the following four weeks, the authorities refused to provide his family and lawyers with any information regarding his fate or whereabouts, therefore subjecting him to enforced disappearance.
Following repeated requests for information, his family was last week given a death certificate that stated he had “died” on May 11. The certificate states his death was as a result of “being hit by hard or sharp objects” and does not clarify that the death resulted from an execution – even though his family was told on June 10 that he had been executed in secret.
Amnesty International has previously documented this phrase being used on the certificates of deaths from gunshot wounds. The whereabouts of his body continues to be concealed by the authorities.
“The relentlessly cruel games the Iranian authorities are playing with Hedayat Abdollahpour’s family must stop. By refusing to reveal the truth, they are deliberately causing untold distress to his loved ones,” said Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.
“Hedayat Abdollahpour’s body must be returned to his family, and an independent investigation must be conducted into the circumstances surrounding his secret execution and ongoing enforced disappearance.”
On June 10, a prosecution official verbally told Hedayat Abdollahpour’s family that he had been executed in Oshnavieh, but he was not allowed to provide them with further information.
To date, Hedayat Abdollahpour’s lawyers have not been notified of his execution, in contravention of Iranian law.
For weeks, the prison officials and prosecution authorities in Urumieh told his lawyers that they had no information about his case, and that it had been referred to Oshnavieh for processing. However, prosecution authorities in Oshnavieh denied this.
Since the authorities told the family on 10 June that he had been executed, they have refused to reveal the circumstances surrounding his death and the location of his remains.
Under international law, the crime of enforced disappearance continues until the state releases information pertaining to the fate or whereabouts of the individual concerned, and this requires, when the disappeared person is found to be dead, returning the remains to their family.
The anguish inflicted on the family due to the continuing uncertainty around the fate of their loved one and the whereabouts of his remains violates the absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment. (Source: Amnesty Intl.)