Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Executions in Iran
Program aired on Fri, 05/14/2010
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On May 9th 2010 Islamic Republic of Iran executed five political prisoners at Evin, Tehran's notorious prison. At least four of the victims -- Farzad Kamangar, Ali Haydarian, Farhad Vakili, and Shirin Alam-Houli -- were ethnic Kurds. The fifth victim was Mehdi Eslamian.
Their court cases were heard behind closed doors. The work of their attorneys was constantly obstructed, or ignored altogether. Neither they nor the families of the victims knew about the executions until after they had taken place. Even the dead bodies of the victims have not been turned over to their families.
Kamangar's case, which attracted international attention, is particularly heart-breaking. He was 35 years old and married. A highly popular teacher in Kurdish villages, he was also a poet and author. He was sentenced to death in February 2008, and his family had lived in agony ever since. In a letter to his students from prison two years ago, Kamangar wrote, "I miss you all. From behind these tall walls, I wake up with you, laugh with you, and go to sleep with you.... I wish I could play soccer with the first graders, and you, with the dream of becoming another Ronaldo, could score past your teacher, the goalie, and then celebrate it."
An interview with Dr. Hadi Ghaemi, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and Behrouz a Kurdish-American activist.