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Kurdish Iranian Death Row Prisoner Habibollah Golparipour Transferred to Semnan Prison, Denied Visitation from his Family

(13 April 2012) – As part of its ongoing investigation of human rights abuses against Kurdish activists in Iran, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) has received recent reports about the condition of death row prisoner Habibollah Golparipour. Further details about Habibollah Golparipour’s case are available in IHRDC’s recently released report: “On the Margins: Arrest, Imprisonment and Execution of Kurdish Activists in Iran Today”.

A source close to IHRDC has indicated that in the middle of the night on Thursday, March 15, 2012, Habibollah Golparipour was transferred from Orumiyeh Central Prison to Semnan Central Prison. The transfer occurred without any notice . Despite the lack of any mention of exile in the sentence issued against him, Golparipour—who is from Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province—was transferred to Semnan, which is roughly 725 km (450 miles) away.

After inquiring about his son's whereabouts for several days at court and Orumiyeh Central Prison, Golparipour's father, Nasser Golparipour, was informed that his son was in Semnan Central Prison. After Nasser Golparipour attempted to follow  up on his son’s condition at Semnan Central Prison, prison authorities told him to return  after the Nowruz holidays.

Now, IHRDC has received reports that last Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8, Habibollah Golparipour’s family attempted to visit their son in Semnan Prison but the prison authorities refused them access on the grounds that Habibollah Golparipour was a “special” case. The authorities further said they could not visit their son without written permission from the local prosecutor. After the Golparipour family went to the Semnan courthouse to seek permission, the judge issued them a written note that granted permission to visit Habibollah.  However, the assistant prosecutor then invalidated the judge's permission without presenting a reason. Ultimately, despite the substantial distance between Sanandaj and Semnan, and the family's insistence on being allowed to visit their son, they were not granted access.

Golparipour is currently imprisoned in ward 10 of Semnan Central Prison. His family has still been denied visitation.

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