Habibollah Latifi is a 29-year-old Iranian man accused of being a member of the Kurdish separatist group, PAJK. He has been sentenced to death, with his execution scheduled for today. The international community is urging Iran to step back from the execution. Updates as available. See update 12-26-10 below.
Latifi was imprisoned over three years ago. An Iranian court says he is a member of the Kurdish Independent Life party (PJAK). His family denies the charge and says Habibollah was an activist student, but was not a member of PJAK.
Human rights advocate Peter Tatchell, who has campaigned in defence of Iran’s ethnic minorities, said: “Iran has a long history of persecuting its Kurdish ethnic minority population, including framing peaceful, lawful Kurdish rights activists on false charges.
He added: “Habibollah Latifi was sentenced to death after an unfair trial in a closed court, where he had no legal representation – clearly in violation of articles 10 and 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Planet Iran has a biography of Mr. Latifi. The account of his arrest and treatment in Sanandaj prison is horrifying. Yet, the U.S. finds ways to do business with this abhorrent government.
This is a developing story. I’ll have updates on Mr. Latifi as they become available.
The hanging execution of Habibolla Latifi scheduled for this morning has been halted for at least 24 hours, although it appears nothing else has changed about his plight.
This according to his family:
Security forces have threatened the demonstrators [and told them] to disperse, but [this]was not accepted by the people until they were told about the suspension of the sentence by a Sanandaj prison official. His promise was accompanied by an oath which he swore to imam Hussain. His family were told they can meet with Habibollah around 8 a.m.
Latifi is one of at least 16 Kurds facing execution on various national security-related charges, including moharebeh — which translates to “enmity against God” — according to published reports.
Watch for continuing updates here.