Rights Group Says Iran Executed Kurdish Activist Without Telling Family

A human rights group says Iran has "secretly" executed Kurdish political prisoner Firuz Musalu without even informing his immediate family that the punishment was being meted out.

According to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, which monitors Kurdish areas in western Iran, Musalu was executed inside the Urmia Central Prison on June 20. Not even his lawyer was informed, the group added.

The 31-year-old had been sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Urmia on charges of “waging war against God through membership of an opposition group."

Without mentioning Musalu's name, the Fars news agency, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, quoted the chief justice of West Azerbaijan as saying that a person had been executed as punishment for "killing two border guards" in the northwestern Iranian province.

"The Public Relations Department of the Judiciary of West Azerbaijan Province has confirmed the execution of this political prisoner," Hengaw said in a statement noting that "some of the criteria for a fair trial were not observed even according to internal standards and that the security services prevented his case from being sent to the Supreme Court."

The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran NGO says that, from the beginning of January to December 20, 2021, at least 299 people were executed in Iran, while another 85 were sentenced to death. Four children were among those executed.

Some human rights sources, including the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), have stated that more than 85 percent of executions in Iran are carried out "in secret and without official and public information."

According to Amnesty International, Iran has had the highest number of executions in the world since 2017. More than half of the world's recorded executions take place in the country.

With writing and reporting by Ardeshir Tayebi