Shirkooh Moarefi

Human Rights Watch wants the Iranian judiciary to commute the death sentence of Shirkooh Moarefi and call off his execution.

Moarefi is in imminent danger of execution, according to Human Rights Watch, for “activities against national security and enmity against God.”

He was arrested in September of 2008 while crossing Iraqi border into Iran.

Human Rights Watch was informed by Radio Zamaneh that on April 29, Ahmad Saeed Sheikhi, one of Moarefi’s lawyers said that apparently the death sentence had been approved by the Supreme Court and relayed to prison officials on April 26.

Human Rights Watch reports that Moarefi has been on a hunger strike since April 28 to protest his uncertain fate. The rights group is urging the Iranian judiciary to review the case and rescind Moarefi’s death sentence.

Sheikhi has said Moarefi’s lawyers have received no official statement regarding the status of the case. He added that the death sentence should be revoked because, according to earlier statements by the head of the judiciary, errors had occurred in the processing of Moarefi’s files.

There are currently 14 Kurdish political prisoners on death row. The previously scheduled execution of Habibollah Latifi, another Kurdish prisoner, was put off thanks to widespread efforts by human rights groups both within and outside Iran. Latifi remains on death row.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, along with the European Union, have condemned the rising wave of executions in Iran and called on the Islamic Republic to halt this practice.