Norway: Iranian Kurd says my cousin is to
be hanged in Iran
translated for this site by Khalid Khedri
July 24, 2007
Norway, -- Ata Hassanpour received the
shocking news on Wednesday: his cousin is
to be hanged
back home in Iran.
"I just talked with the Adnanís mother on the phone.
She cried all the time and she wants to commit
suicide if he is hanged", says Ata Hassanpour
He sits in the living room in Fyllingsdalen and
smokes while staring into the air. In his hand he
holds a paper napkin. Less than 24 hours ago he
received an email which shocked the family in
Norway. Ataís cousin, 25 year old Kurdish journalist
and author Adnan Hassanpour had been sentenced to
death by a so-called Revolutionary Tribunal in Iran.
Wrote about Kurdish history
According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Adnan
Hassanpour was convicted together with a well known
Kurdish activist, Hiwa Botimar. Both were sentenced
to death for crimes against the national security of
"It is not true. All Adnan has ever done is write
articles about the repression of Kurds in Iran. He
wrote a book about Kurdish history. That is why the
soldiers came and arrested him", Ata Hassanpour
Together with his sister Serweh he has lived in
Norway since 2003. They had to flee from Iran
because they were advocating the plight of the
Kurds. Other members of the family have moved to
Kurdistan, Iraq. Adnan Hassanpour stayed in his
hometown of Mariwan, where he worked as a journalist
at the weekly magazine ĎAsoí. The magazine was
closed by the Iranian authorities in August 2005. On
25th January this year, Adnan was arrested by six
agents from the Iranian Intelligence Agency.
In isolation for two months
Ata Hassanpour, my cousin is to be hanged in Iran
Adnan Hassanpur and Hiwa Botimar sentenced to death
by the Iranian Islamic regime
"They called and asked him to come outside the
house. They arrested him without telling him what
his alleged crime was. For two months he had no
contact with his mother", Ata and Serweh say.
"Neither Adnanís lawyer have been informed about the
case. They were never told about his death sentence.
In Iran lawyers have no real power. They cannot
influence the case", Ata says.
He has no faith in the Iranian judiciary. That his
cousin received the death penalty nevertheless came
as a shock.
"We thought he would get 2-3 years imprisonment. Not
that he would be hanged for telling the truth and
helping people", Ata and Serweh say.
International PEN writes on their web-site that the
arrest of Adnan might have been motivated by an
interview he gave to the radio station Voice of
America. The arrest has attracted some international
attention. Both PEN, who works for freedom of speech
globally, and Amnesty International have become
involved in a campaign to free Adnan Hassanpour.
Ask for help from Norway
After she received news of the death sentence,
Adnanís sister Leila, who lives in Kurdistan, Iraq,
has started an e-mail campaign in order to engage
countries and international organisations so that
they can put international pressure on the Iranian
authorities. Ata hopes that the Norwegian
authorities will help in this campaign, and call for
the death sentence to be revoked.
"It is terribly difficult to be sitting here in
Norway without being able to do anything. I beg of
Norway, as a democratic country, to raise this case
with Iran. It is important that someone protest
against this case", he says.
Nobody knows when the death sentence will be carried
out. Ata thinks it will be a date during next week.
He has not thought of anything else, since he heard
about the sentence.
"My thoughts are in Mariwan. I grew up in the same
street as Adnan. We are as brothers", he says.
This article appears in
(translated by Khalid Khedri)
www.bt no | adnanhiwa blogspot.com
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