First Name and Last Name:
Abutaleb Kusha (born 1958) holds a doctorate degree in International Commerce from University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom. He did his post doctorate in “Intelligence Property Laws” at University of Turine in Italy. Kusha is presently assistant professor and a member of the academic board of the Faculty of Judicial Sciences.
Titles and Positions Held:
As late as 1982 to 1986 – Revolutionary Prosecutor of Western Gilan (including Bandar Anzali).
November 2006 to 2009 – Head of the Faculty of Judicial Sciences (subset of the Judiciary).
1996 to present – Assistant professor and member of the academic board of the Faculty of Judicial Sciences and Office Services.
Presently – Advisor to the CEO of the governmental company Petroleum Engineering and Development (See text) (previously held the position of legal and administrator and contract manager for the same company).
Witness Accounts of Alleged Violations and Crimes:
Instances of Human Rights Violation Based on Testimony of Former Prisoners and other Sources
During his tenure as the prosecutor of Western Gilan Province, Abutaleb Kusha signed the indictments requesting the execution of countless opposition figures. Some of such execution orders are those of Ali Ashkani in 1982 (by firing squad); Ali Niyani on June 17, 1982 (by firing squad); Mehrdad Pourghorban on January 1, 1982 for supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalq; Behrouz, Hassan, and Hossein Delavar in Summer of 1982 (by firing squad); Seyyed Mohammad Alavi in June 1984 (hanged); Sanjar and Ja’far Shafagh; Bahrayn Abedin; Hassan Azizian; Abdulhossein Majedi; Abbas Abedin; Mohsen Afsordeh; Ali Davari (Bagher); Fereydoun Senobar; Alireza Oryani; Mohammad Reza Mohammadian; Ebrahim Masoumi. (1) The orders were all issued during Kusha’s tenure as the Prosecutor of Bandar Anzali. A great majority of them were hanged or shot by firing squad for the crime of supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalq. Kusha was also present during the interrogation of Mohammad Khoshzogh, a Fedaian Khalq (Minority) supporter, in 1983 and witnessed him being tortured by the prison officials. (2)
Furthermore, he was responsible for processing the case file of Mahnaz Yousefzadeh who was imprisoned at Bandar Anzali prison for supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalq. Kusha had propositioned Mahnaz for a marriage. In fact, he had stated that the condition for Mahnaz’s release is her penitence and marriage with Kusha. Mahnaz Yousefzadeh rejected the proposition and was executed on 8AZAR1361 at Bandar Anzali Prison, the only woman to be executed at that prison in 1982. (3)
In his memoir, Ahmad Mousavi writes about Mahnaz Yousefzadeh (4), “Once we face each other in the bathrooms accidentally. We spoke a few sentences; she was a petit, strong and resilient girl. She spent her entire imprisonment term, until her execution, in solitary cells, either alone or with another person. They spent a lot of energy trying to force her into repenting but they were not able to break her. Later, I was imprisoned with her father at Rasht prison for a short while and got to know him. He said, “After her execution they did not allow us to burry Mahnaz in the city’s cemetery. So we had to bury her in our yard.”” (5)
About Mahnaz, Shayesteh Vatan Doust says, “Later when I was released, I saw a photo of Mahnaz’s corpse. Right in the middle of her legs was fully bruised. It was clear from the photo that the corpse showed signs of beating and injuries, being tied with a rope and that she had resisted. A friend who saw the body said that she was shot in her genital area. They gave her body to the family because her mother, who did not know Mahnaz was executed, went to the prison for visitation. Someone called her inside the prison, gave her a box of sweets and told her, “Wish me well. I married your daughter.” Her mother said, “I will wish you well when you hand me her corpse.” After a few days they showed them the body.” (6)
Post-2009 Election Unrest
By relying on his position as a lawyer and head of the Faculty of Judicial Sciences (subset of the Judiciary), Abutaleb Kusha is one of the individuals who played a role in the efforts to portray the suppression of the popular dissent post election as perfectly legal and legitimate. After the 2009 presidential election, a series of street unrest and protests started that lasted for months after the election. The unrest was violently crushed.
Abutaleb Kusha was amongst the signatory attorneys to a letter condemning the aforementioned unrest. The letter considered the popular protests to be riots, sedition and action against national security. (7)
In August of that year, after the completion of the show trials during which a large number of political activists and journalists were forced to testify against themselves and others, in an interview, Abutaleb Kusha demanded punishment for the “leaders of sedition.” (8)
In October 2009, while speaking about the university student protests, Abutaleb Kusha announced in an interview that all protesting students will be crushed. The interview states that “students who are after creating fervor and disruption at the University will be dealt with. He [Kusha] further stated, “It is possible for university environment to be affected by the enemies and infiltrating bodies. Such people are not subject to logic and must be identified so that they can be dealt with in a legal manner.”” (9)
(1) based on the list prepared by the Committee to Defend Human Rights in Iran, Sweden
(2) Mohammad Khoshzog, “Great Crime,” printed in Behrouz Sheida, “The Long, Sharp-fanged Nightmare, Prison Memoirs” (2003) Sweden, Baran Publication
(3) Witness Testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, Justice For Iran.
(4) ahmad Mousavi states the prisoner’s name to be Mahnaz Yousefzadegan. It appears that a mistake was made on the part of Mousavi in recording the name of Mahnaz Yousefzadeh as her name appears as such everywhere else except for Mousavi’s book. Furthermore, all other identifying attribute of the prisoners in question corroborates with those of Yousefzadeh.
(5) Ahmad Mousavi, Goodnight Comrade, Baran Publication, Sweden, 2005, P. 23.
(6) Witness Testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, Justice For Iran
(7) Announcement of 169 Lawyers and Professors of Tehran University in Condemning the Violation of Law by the Election Losers, 1TIR1388, Islamic Republic Documentation Center, available athttp://www.irdc.ir/fa/content/7259/print.aspx.
(8) Punishment for the Leaders of Sedition Must be Implemented Decisively, Fars News Agency, August 1, 2009, available at http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8805100667.
(9) Kusha: To Preserve the Sanctity of the University, Individuals Causing Fervor Would be Dealt with, Fars News Agency, August 24, 2009, available at http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8806180840.
Further research about the instances of human rights abuse committed by this individual is being done.
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