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Iran Confirms Two Kurdish Reporters Sentenced To Death

Adnan Hassanpur and Hiwa Butimar (file photo) (Courtesy Photo) July 31, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's judiciary today confirmed that two Iranian Kurdish journalists have been sentenced to death for being "enemies of God."

Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said they have 20 days to appeal their verdicts.

Adnan Hassanpur and Hiwa Butimar were reportedly sentenced on July 16 in the northwestern province of Kurdistan.

Hassanpur’s sister today told Radio Farda that her family is deeply concerned about his fate.

She said the families have no information about the whereabouts of Hassanpur and Butimar. “A few days ago, my mother went to Sanandaj. She searched all the prisons of the Information Ministry and the courts, both in Marivan and in Sanandaj, but they told her [Adnan and Butimar] were not with them," she said.

Reporters Without Borders has expressed concern about the death sentences issued against the two Kurdish journalists, and described the rulings as "outrageous and shameful." The group has called for international pressure against Iran to reverse the ruling.

Media rights groups say Hassanpur has writen articles on local politics, while Butimar was a member of an environmental group.

Reports say the two men had contacts with Iranian armed opposition groups. Judiciary officials have said that the two had been involved in “armed struggle “ against Iran’s Islamic establishment.

(with material from agency reports)

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report

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