May 9 marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic execution of Iranian Kurdish teacher and human rights activist Farzad Kamangar. Four other political activists–three men and one woman– were executed along with him on that day. Farzad Kamangar was just 34 years old when he was hanged and had been subjected to unimaginably brutal torture for months after his arrest in 2006.
This tragedy is compounded by the fact that the Iranian authorities continue to refuse to turn over his body to his grieving family for proper burial. Meanwhile, at least sixteen other Kurdish activists remain at imminent risk of execution in Iran.
Farzad Kamangar was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other members of the Kurdish minority, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006. The three men were sentenced to death on 25 February 2008 after being convicted of Moharebeh (enmity against God) in connection with their alleged membership in the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).