Monday, February 27, 2006

Iran: Alarming Increase in Executions

Human Rights Watch:
Iran: Alarming Increase in Executions
Outlawed Opposition Member Put to Death

(New York, February 27, 2006) – Hojat Zamani, a member
of the opposition Mojadehin Khalq Organization
outlawed in Iran, was executed on February 7 at Karaj’s
Gohardasht prison, Human Rights Watch said today, after a
trial that did not meet international standards.

Human Rights Watch also expressed grave concern for
the safety of other members of the Mojahedin Khalq
Organization imprisoned in Iran, including Saeed Masouri,
Gholamhussein Kalbi, and Valiollah Feyz Mahdavi.

Following the election of President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad last year, the number of executions in Iran has
increased sharply. According to news articles in the
Iranian media, between January 20 and February 20 alone,
the judicial authorities executed 10 prisoners and
condemned another 21 to the death sentence.

The Iranian judiciary accused Zamani of involvement in
a bomb explosion in Tehran in 1988 which killed three
people and injured 22. He was condemned to death in
2004, after a court hearing that did not meet
international standards for a fair trial, because Zamani was not
allowed access to his lawyers.

Zamani was taken from his cell by the prison
authorities and hanged inside the Gohardasht prison on February
7, but his execution was not confirmed until a week
later, after mounting international protests, by
Minister of Justice Jamal Karimirad.

In addition, Human Rights Watch fears the imminent
execution of three persons accused of involvement in
hijacking an airplane in 2001. They are Khaled Hardani,
Farhang Pour Mansouri and Shahram Pour Mansouri. At the
time of the alleged hijacking, Shahram Pour Mansouri
was only 17 years old.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
prohibit the imposition of the death penalty for crimes
committed before the age of 18. These treaties also
prohibit the use of torture and cruel, inhuman, or
degrading punishments. Iran is a party to both treaties.

Human Rights Watch called on the Iranian judiciary to
stop applying the death penalty and to abide by its
obligations under international treaties, including
abolition of death penalty for juveniles and
implementation of fair trial standards.

Iranian human rights activists have repeatedly
expressed serious concerns that under President Ahmadinejad
the government will increasingly resort to violent
means to suppress dissent. These worries are accentuated
by the presence of several ministers in the cabinet who
are suspected of grave human rights violations. The
Interior Minister, Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi, for example,
is suspected of crimes against humanity for his
involvement in summary and arbitrary execution of thousands
of political prisoners in 1988.  

1 Comments:

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