Condemned Kurdish journalist’s father dies

Condemned Kurdish journalist Hiwa Butimar and his parents - Mr Ali Butimar died on 12 October 2007

I’ve just received a heavy-hearted email circular from Hadi Butimar, brother of one of the two Kurdish journalists on death row in Iran. The message does not concern Hiwa Butimar and his co-condemned Adnan Hassanpour so much as Hiwa’s father.

On 12 October Mr Ali Butimar died, we are told, of a broken heart shortly after a prison visit during which father and son were separated by a thick glass partition, and had to speak through a phone line. Maybe this is common practice in other countries, but it doesn’t make it any less barbaric.

Meanwhile, Turkish military forces are massing along the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, and Iran and Turkey continue their shelling of Kurdish villages.