Kurdish political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi’s brother Emced Hossein Panahi issued a statement the day before and said: “My brother was moved to a solitary cell today. According to the court’s decision, my brother will be executed on Thursday.”

The scheduled execution on Thursday of Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 22-year-old man from Iran’s Kurdish minority who was sentenced to death in January for “taking up arms against the state” after a grossly unfair trial and amid serious torture allegations, has been halted temporarily.

Panahi’s brother Emced Hossein Panahi spoke to RojNews and announced that his brother called him from Sine Prison on May 2. Accordingly, the Kurdish prisoner was taken out of solitary cell and put in a ward near other inmates. Panahi’s death sentence has not been annulled but halted temporarily.

Short after the announcement of Panahi’s sceheduled execution, his niece Nishtiman Hisen Penahi ended her life. In her funeral, Iranian intelligence forces threatened to arrest her brother.

Panahi, originally from Sine, was captured in a wounded state on Jun 23, 2017. He was tortured for days and was sentenced to death in January 2018 for “taking up arms against the state” (baqi). His conviction was based upon his membership of the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala, but no evidence linking him to activities involving intentional killing – the required threshold under international law for imposing the death penalty – was presented at his trial.

In addition to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Amnesty International, many organizations and NGOs issued statements calling on the Iranian regime to stop the execution at once, but the regime has not responded.

Campaigns have been launched on social media with the hashtag #RaminHoseinPanahi to demand a stay of execution.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said; “Wonderful news! Let’s hope it’s more than a temporary reprieve.”

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