TEHRAN, Iran, (AP) – Iran on Sunday hanged five Kurdish activists convicted of membership of armed opposition groups and involvement in bombings, the country’s official news agency, IRNA, reported.
It said the five, who include one woman, were hanged at dawn at Evin prison, north of the capital Tehran.
The five were sentenced to death in 2008 after they were found guilty of “Moharebeh,” a term Iran uses to describe a major crime against Islam and the state.
The agency said the five — Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Elmholi, Mahdi Islamian — were members of the Kurdish separatist group PEJAK that says it is fighting for Kurdish rights. PEJAK is the Iranian wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey.
The mountainous Iran-Iraq border region has in recent years been the scene of sporadic clashes between PEJAK fighters and Iranian forces.
The Iranian news agency’s report said Heidarian and Vakili were arrested after carrying out bombings in western Iran in 2006. Also in 2006, Kamangar was arrested after an explosive timer was found in his house.
IRNA said Elmholi, the only woman in the group, was arrested in 2008 after planting a bomb under a car belonging to the Revolutionary Guard, a heavily armed paramilitary force that’s fiercely loyal to the country’s ruling clerical establishment.
Islamian was convicted of carrying out a 2008 bombing at a mosque in Shiraz, southern Iran.