Spotlight on Iran in marking 'World Day against the Death Penalty'
Iran's barbaric regime is one of the reasons why the World Day against the Death Penalty was necessary. No regime executes so many for so many political and trivial reasons. The graveyards of the mullahs are full of its victims.
In 2003, the World Coalition created the first World Day against the Death Penalty. This initiative was expressed through more than 180 local initiatives across the world. Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Belgium, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, and the European Union officially supported the World Day.
Since then, the 10 October date has continued to attract new initiatives. Since 2005, when more than 260 events were held, the World Day against the Death Penalty has highlighted a particular theme each year. This year, there is reason to focus on Iran.
In Iran, at least 508 individuals have been hanged from October 2016 to the beginning of October 2017. This is in fact an increase in comparison to the same period last year. Iranians are being executed and sentenced to death at a time when many of these victims have been deprived of due process. We must also take into consideration that we can never know the exact number of executions in Iran due to the fact that independent human rights groups are banned.
In the above mentioned period, seven juveniles were sent to the gallows. Reports indicate that most of these individuals were forced into confessing to their alleged crimes under severe psychological pressure and torture.
Marking this day, I also bring to your attention a video clip of executions in Iran.
In September, systematic violations of human rights continued, including a growing wave of public and secret executions, hand amputation, floggings, torture to death of detainees, and killing of porters.
Iran Human Rights Monitor have registered 42 executions in the month of September, from which 22 have been made public by the state media. Therefore, the actual number must be considerably higher.
From all executions, seven were carried out in public, and others were implemented in the prisons of Ardebil, Borujerd, Khorramabad, Mashhad, Zanjan, Kerman, Qom, Karaj, Qazvin, and Tabriz. Among those executed, there is a woman identified as N.A., who was hanged in the Central Prison of Zanjan, in northwestern Iran. The state-run Mehr news agency reported her execution on Sept. 19, 2017.
On September 19, two men, including a 23-year-old prisoner, were hanged in Ardebil Prison while they were both handcuffed and shackled. The young man had been sentenced to three years behind bars; however, later, he was sentenced to death on new fabricated charges.
An audience of fellow inmates were assembled to witness their executions.
These inhuman acts are carried out on the order of prison officials aiming at tormenting inmates before their executions.
On September 20, at the same time as Iran's President Hassan Rouhani delivered his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, 14 executions and 3 death sentences were carried out.
According to human rights monitoring reports, from 170 prisoners held in Ardabil prison, 25 are on death row whose death sentences have been upheld by supreme court. Many of them were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crimes.
Seven porters were shot dead by the regime's border guards.
An 18-year-old juvenile was shot dead in the northern city of Abadan.
A young Baluchi man was shot dead in Khash region in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.
Deaths in custody:
In the last weeks of September, the warden of Zahedan Central Prison ordered to transfer a 22-year-old prisoner identified as Isa Barahouei to solitary confinement, where he had endured torture by prison guards. Subsequently, the inmate committed suicide in a solitary cell to end his suffering caused by ongoing torture.
Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate, specializing in political and economic issues relating to Iran and the Middle East. @hassan_mahmou1