Amnesty International appealed to Iranian authorities to commute the death sentence of a Kurdish law student who is set to be executed on Sunday.

"We are urgently appealing to the Iranian authorities to show clemency, halt the imminent execution of Habibolah Latifi, and commute his death sentence," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa director.

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"While we recognize that governments have a responsibility to bring to justice those who commit crimes, this must be done according to international standards for fair trial," Smart said.

Habibollah Latifi, 29, was arrested in October 2007 in Sanandaj, the Kordestan provincial capital, north-western Iran.  He was convicted of "enmity against God" (moharebeh) and sentence to death by an Iranian court, in connection with alleged membership and activities on behalf of the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), a militant Kurdish nationalist group.

His death sentence was upheld by an appeals court in 2009.

According to Amnesty International, his trial was held behind closed doors and his lawyer was not allowed to be present to defend him. Nor was his family allowed to attend the trial.
 
"It is clear that Habibolah Latifi did not receive a fair trial by international standards, which makes the news of his impending execution all the more abhorrent," added Smart.

The execution is set to take place on 26 December at Sanandaj Prison, Kordestan, in western Iran.

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