Reported executions of four Kurds could increase tensions in Iran
Washington Post / Thomas Erdbrink
09-May-2010 (one comment)

TEHRAN -- Iran hanged four minority Kurds on Sunday after they had been found guilty of membership of an armed opposition group and carrying out bombings, the Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA, reported.

According to IRNA, the four, who included one woman, were members of a Kurdish separatist group called PEJAK, which says it is fighting for Kurdish rights. Iranian officials have often accused the United States of financing and arming the group.

The executions could increase tensions in Iran's Kurdish area, which is the scene of regular battles between security forces and Kurdish separatists. On Wednesday five men were killed in a shootout with members of the Revolutionary Guards corps in the city of Dalahu, Sepah News, the guard's news outlet reported.

The four - Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili, Farzad Kamangar and Shirin Alamhouie - were arrested in separate events in 2006 and 2008. According to IRNA the first two men had carried out bombings, while Kamangar, 32, was arrested for having an explosive timer in his house. Alamhouie, the woman, had blown up a car belonging to the revolutionary guards, the state agency said.

Lawyers and human rights activists say that the executed were innocent, and that their court cases had not been finalized. "The decision to execute them was premade," said lawyer Khalil Bahramian, in an interview. Kamangar was a teacher and Alamhouie an uneducated girl from a village, said Bahramian. Their representative said he... >>>

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