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Kurd hanged even though appeal pending.

A Kurd held prisoner for membership in the rebel Party of Free Life In Kurdistan (PEJAK) has been executed despite the fact his appeal was still pending before the Supreme Court, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) said.

The execution comes shortly after the ceasefire between Iran and PEJAK collapsed and there was speculation the execution might have been intended as retribution for that.

ICHRI said the brother of Behruz Alkhani told it he was executed in Urumiyeh Prison's courtyard August 26.

The brother, Mansur Alkhani, who is currently in Turkey, said prison authorities were refusing to hand over his brother's body and told the family not to hold a public memorial service for him. "I believe they don't want us to see the signs of torture on his body," he said.

Behruz Alkhani, born in 1985 in Salmas, West Azerbaijan province, was sentenced to death on charges of contact with PEJAK, possession of a weapon, and taking part in the assassination of the state prosecutor in Khoi.

During his six years in prison, he denied any involvement in the killing.

The Supreme Court overturned the death sentence he was given and sent the case back to the Appeals Court for review. That court again sentenced Alkhani to die. The family appealed the decision again, and the Supreme Court still had the case on its docket when Alkhani was hanged.

"My father told the prison officials that the Supreme Court has not issued its decision yet and they cannot execute Behruz. But the prison officials said they don't care about the Supreme Court and will carry out the execution," Mansur Alkhani told ICHRI.

The day before the execution, the prisoner was allowed to see his family. "My brother said, 'Why are you upset? Being executed is better than torture and prison. Don't be upset, because I'll be in peace," Mansur Alkhani said.

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Title Annotation:Commentary, text and context
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Oct 16, 2015
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