‏Political Prisoner Ramin Hossain Panahi’s Case: A Death Sentence and Citizen Public Punishment Project

Ramin Hossain Panahi, a Kurdish political activist was arrested on June 23, 2017 in Sannandaj when he was targeted by the Iranian secret police. At the same time, there was a wave of arrests of many members of Mr. Ramin’s family. His family members Anvar Hossain Panahi, Afshin Hossain Panahi, Zaber Hossain Panahi, Ahmad Hossain Panahi, Keivan Hossain Panahi were arrested by the Sapah Pasdaran and the other Iranian secret police without reason. They were not told why and what was their crimes. All the members that were arrested have been tortured and interrogated. Many people of Iran believe that the Iranian Islamic Regime is trying to prevent the spread of civil activities and protests with mass arrests of citizens.

The members of Ramin’s family that were arrested were released temporarily after heavy bail was issued, such as the title of their home or other means. They are waiting their trials. Afshin Panahi, an environmental activist, was convicted and sentenced to 8 years imprisonment in political prison without trial. He was convicted without being allowed to have lawyers at the revolutionary court in Sannandaj. Meanwhile, the Iranian secret police and Sapah Pasdaran attacked Ramin’s parents home. They instilled terror and fear in his hometown, a village named Dehe Bozorgeh Gharochi, by attacking people and interrogating them. The Sapah Pasdaran performed body searches, summoned people just to scare them, and did not allow them to have a gathering in an attempt to protest.

When Ramin was arrested his parents contacted several of the Iranian regime security agencies to find out where their son was taken and why. But his parents were given no answers about his location nor about his crime or his physical and mental condition. Since they were desperate in finding any information and the Iranian regime police and other organizations refused to provide any information, Ramin’s mother tried to burn herself in protest. She didn’t succeed because of the witnesses fast actions and the police promises to provide information.

The police interrogated Ramin’s parents and under pressure Ramin’s parents confessed to what the police forced them to. They were told if they confessed their son would be released soon. But the police used this confession in convicting Ramin. With no trial, Ramin has been convicted and sentenced to be executed. There was no trial, nor an attorney to defend Ramin. The influence of the secret police and Sapah Pasdarn on the juridical organization in Iran is tremendous and people are being convicted and sentence to death because of their influence.

After six months with no news about Ramin’s location and condition he was finally able to visit one of his family members for a few minutes in the court area in Sannandaj.  Ramin has been sick and has a kidney infection and some type of short memory amnesia now.

After six months of not having a trial, nor being allowed to have a lawyer, and the influence of Sapah Pasdaran on his conviction, Ramin announced a food strike in protest of his condition, accusation and conviction. During this six months, many people and many different humanitarian organizations protested Ramin’s imprisonment and the illegality of the whole process. Many organizations have announced that Ramin’s arrest process has been inhumane and is in effect a kidnaping by the Sapah Pasdaran and secret police.

After six months Ramin got an attorney and there was a court hearing that announced Ramin’s sentence to death on January 25, 2018 in revolutionary court in Sannandaj by Judge Saeedi. The judge announced that Ramin is considered a “Baghi” or insurgent and is not considered to be in combat with the Iranian Islamic Regime. Insurgents do not receive the sentence of death however Ramin was sentenced to be executed. The sentence was brought to Ramin’s attention by his attorney Mr. Hassan Ahmadi Niaz who then appealed the conviction.

At no point has Ramin accepted the guilty conviction and he did not confess to any of the allegations. The attorney protested the conviction, the trial and the sentence process. But there was no other hearing or court date.

Ramin and his brother, Afshin, in protest to their sentencing both announced their food strike. After they announced their strike they were moved to solitary cells. On February 4, 2018 Ramin’s mother (Dayeh Ashraf), other family members, and humanitarian organizations intervened and convinced Ramin to stop his strike.  They promised Ramin to follow up on his conviction and imprisonment.

Mr. Ahmadi Niaz, Ramin’s attorney, announced to the media that the death sentence was being influenced by Sapah Pasdaran. Per the constitution of Iranian Islamic Regime and laws, Ramin should not receive a death sentence.

Ramin’s death sentence was announced at the same time that the Turkish military attacked Arfaein. There was also a mass movement against the Iranian Islamic Regime all over the country. The death sentence of Ramin and other political activists brought fear and terror to the people. Many humanitarian organizations, citizens, writer organizations, and industrial businesses all over the country and in Kurdistan, Canada, and Europea protested these sentences.  They are asking for democracy and freedom of the political prisoners in Iran. They are supporting Ramin, other political activists and prisoners. In fourteen countries (Greece, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and many others) meetings and rallies were organized in protest of Ramin’s situation and condition. Many petitions have been signed by people in protest of the death sentence of Ramin and other Kurdish political prisoners.

Thirty-two of the previous house representatives in Iran, universities faculties, and lawyers have protested this death sentence by writing a letter to the supreme court judge asking for a mistrial of Ramin and others. Forty-two humanitarian organizations have published statements asking to immediately revoke the sentence and for a fair trial with the presence of an attorney.

There was a rally in Koln, Germany protesting these harsh and inhumane sentences. Additionally, on February 8, 2018, with the support of the Political Prisoners’ Rights Organization and the Kurdistan Parliament, many activists protested these sentences.  There has been many Kurdistan Parliamentary representatives that have spoken at the conferences in Solamanieh Iraq in support of Ramin Hossain Panahi and Hedayat Abdolahpoor.

Ramin’s family have spoken against these sentences and have sent their regards to all humanitarian efforts by everyone and all organizations.

On February 11, 2018 there were again several protests by the Hezbe Komoleh of Kurdistan Iran, Hezbe Democrat of Kurdistan Iran, and the Political Immigrant Association of Iran in Greece. During these gatherings there were chants of “Free Political Prisoners” and “Down with Islamic Republic of Iran.” These rallies united against the death penalty sentences for Ramin Hossain Panahi and Hedayat Abdolahpoor

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