Letter to Human and refugee rights activists and organizations
Mostafa Salimi executed after being deported back to Iran
Mustafa Salimi, a 53 year old was a Kurdish political prisoner, was sentenced to death in Iran after escaping prison during the COVID -19. After spending 17 years in prison, Political Prisoner Salimi escaped from Saqiz central prison on March 27th after a major riot broke out due to the fears of the outbreak of Coronavirus and dozens of prisoners fled and Mostafa fled into the Kurdish region of Iraq. Later, he had been handed by the local Asayish (Security) Force in the Kurdistan region on Saturday morning 11th of April, where he was then executed. The Islamic Republic of Iran continued executions to be carried out even after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and lockdown in the country. Iranian human rights groups say the Islamic Republic security forces have so far killed more than 35 inmates during prison protests.
According to Human Right Organizations and Political parties in Iran and Kurdistan it is obvious that some parts of the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) had a role in this extradition. Once Mostafa Salimi escaped, he stayed at Garmak mosque village for six days, and after this he left there to go to Penjwin, a city in Kurdistan. Since he was coming from Iran, Asayish agents were allowed to capture him due to fears that he was carrying the coronavirus (COVID-19) hence why they said he must be tested. He spent seven hours with the Asayish, which was enough time for the agents to identify him. After several hours, around 2300 he and some other detained persons were transported to the border and were delivered to the personnel of Ramezan Sepah military base that belongs to Quds forces then Quds forces agents brought him to Baneh then Saqqez in Iran.
Evidence from the family of Salimi and a Witness shows there are voice recordings, where it can be heard that the PUK were clearly handing Salimi back to the Iranian Authorities to be dealt with. The PUK cooperated with Iranian forces to make sure Salimi was returned to Iran, the Iranian regime has also been pressuring Kurdish parties to remain silent.
In the last 29 years in Iraq and Kurdistan, many Iranian political activists and human right activists claiming refugee status and registered on UNHCR in the Kurdish Region have been targeted or killed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, as there are already thousands of refugees from Iran, Syria plus from all parts of Kurdistan. In the instance of the brutal execution of political refugees like Mostafa Salimi, the violation of human rights is evident which has led to major injustice for Salimi and his family. For all Iranian’s fleeing persecution, they should be treated with equality and care, their lives must be saved rather than being unlawfully executed the way Salimi was. This case is serious and sensitive in many aspects when it comes to international laws and regulations on how political prisoners and or asylum seekers who flee for their lives should be treated.
International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-IFIR strongly condemns the execution of Mustafa Salimi and also condemns PUK for handing political prisoners to Iran as this is a violation of refugee’s rights. IFIR calls on all human right, Refugee Right Organization and International communities, the United Nations of High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR), to condemn this crime and look into the unjust execution as well as to order Islamic Republic of Iran toimmediately abolish the death penalty and must be bind to its duties and obligations to respect human rights and the rights of prisoners rather than executing a man without being legally investigated. We call on the KRG to investigate the case of Mustafa Salimi and bring those who handed Salimi to the Iranians to justice.
Dashty Jamal Secretary International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-IFIR