Iran: indiscriminate executions continue


By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 4 November 2013

While the political climate between Iran and the international community has been improving since the election of President Rouhani, and the P5+1 Group is preparing their second round of nuclear negotiations with Iran, executions continue at a higher rate than before inside the country.
Forty-five executions in Iran have been confirmed since Saturday, October 26. We condemn this wave of lawlessness in the strongest possible terms.
Six executions took place this morning, November 4, according to reports from Iran: Shirkoo Moarefi, a Kurdish political prisoner, was hanged in the prison of Saghez (west of Iran), and five prisoners charged with murder were executed in the prison of Kermanshah.
Following the execution of 18 prisoners on Saturday, October 26, among them two Kurdish political prisoners and 16 Baluchi prisoners executed in retaliation for an armed attack by insurgents the day before, another Baluchi prisoner was hanged on Monday, October 28, convicted of membership in a Baluchi militant group, and one prisoner was executed on Tuesday, October 29, convicted of drug-related charges.
Referring to the retaliatory execution of the 16 Baluchi prisoners, Florence Bellivier, President of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, stated: “The death penalty in Iran is often carried out in violation of international law; in this case none of the safeguards provided not only by international law but also by internal regulations were respected”.
Reports from Iran had indicated that at least 12 Kurdish prisoners might be in imminent danger of execution. Iran Human Rights (IHR) warned about the imminent danger of execution for four Sunni Kurd prisoners sentenced to death, convicted of the assassination of a Sunni Cleric. Those prisoners were in detention when the assassination took place.
Amnesty International has also warned of the danger of execution for the two Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, reportedly tortured into “confessing” to the 2009 murder of the son of a senior cleric in Marivan, Kurdistan Province, and participating in armed activities with a Kurdish opposition group.
Additionally, four Ahwazi Arab death row prisoners have been transferred to an unknown location and could be executed at any time.
Since the election of the new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani in June, at least 278 prisoners have been executed in Iran. Of those, 166 including one juvenile offender convicted of a murder committed at 14 years of age, have been announced by official sources. This is a higher monthly average number of executions than in recent years. In the same period, the diplomatic ties between Iran and the international community have improved and the EU and the P5+1 Group have resumed their dialogue with Iran.
“It is a paradox that the relations between Iran and the international community improve at the same time as the number of the executions in Iran increases. Notably, many of the death row prisoners are subjected to torture, forced confessions and unfair trials,” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights. “Demanding a halt to the executions and due process of law must be on top of the agenda in the dialogue between the international community and Iran”.
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an alliance of more than 150 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and unions, was created in Rome on 13 May 2002. The aim of the World Coalition is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty. Its ultimate objective is to obtain the universal abolition of the death penalty.

See also statements by World Coalition members:
Iran Human Rights
> International Federation for Human Rights
> Amnesty International
> Human Rights Watch

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