Iran may execute a Kurdish prisoner in order to intimidate protesters or armed opposition groups in Kurdish provinces, the brother of the man on death row said in a recent interview.

“When there are protests or armed confrontations in Kurdistan [Province] or other places, chances that death sentences would be carried out increases in order to intimidate and cause fright,” Amjad Hossein Panahi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) in comments published Wednesday.

Amjad said a prison officer made this comment to his brother, Ramin Hossein Panahi, a member of the Kurdish party Komala whose death sentence was confirmed by Iran’s Supreme Court in April.

The officer at Rajaee Shahr Prison west of Tehran told Panahi that his execution will be carried out soon.

Iranian authorities accused Panahi of carrying arms during a confrontation with security forces in June 2017. Panahi’s lawyer and family insist he was unarmed at the time.

Membership in opposition parties like Komala does not carry the death sentence.

International human rights organization Amnesty International and UN rights officials have condemned the death sentence against Panahi, citing concerns about the fairness of his trial and treatment in prison.

On August 26, Panahi began a hunger strike and sewed his lips together.

Komala is one of several armed Kurdish Iranian parties seeking greater cultural and political rights for Kurds. The groups frequently clash with Iranian security forces in the Kurdish areas of northwest Iran.

Iran has one of the highest rates of use of the death penalty worldwide, executing at least 507 people in 2017, though its use fell by 11 percent in 2017, according to Amnesty.

Source » rudaw