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Iran Capital Punishment News
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  1. #1
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    Iran Capital Punishment News

    THERE is a "good chance" that the life of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery could be spared, the head of Iran's High Human Rights Council has said.

    "Our judiciary made a lot of efforts [in reviewing the case] and we think there is a good chance her life could be saved," Mohammed Javad Larijani told Iran's English-language Press TV.

    Larijani did not give details of the judiciary's review of the Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani case or the basis of his optimism that her life would be spared.

    His council works under the judiciary's auspices.

    The sentence handed down against Ms Ashtiani sparked international outrage and diplomatic intervention by several Western governments as well as the Vatican.

    In July, Tehran said that the sentence to death by stoning had been stayed pending a full review of her case.

    Ms Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, was initially given death sentences by two different courts in the northwestern city of Tabriz in separate trials in 2006.


    A sentence to hang for her involvement in the murder of her husband was commuted to a 10-year jail term by an appeals court in 2007.

    But a second sentence, to death by stoning on charges of adultery leveled over several relationships, notably with the man convicted of her husband's murder, was upheld by another appeals court the same year.



    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news...#ixzz161tPCp3J

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    Iran second only to China for executions

    Apart from the wide range of offences for which it is carried out, which include political crimes, adultery, homosexuality and drug-trafficking amongst others, Iran's practice of executing juveniles causes particular outrage.

    Amnesty International, which campaigns against the death penalty worldwide, says it knows of 388 people who were executed in 2009, up from 346 in 2008, though it adds that the true figure is "likely to be higher".

    It also suggested there was a spike in the eight weeks between the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 9 and his inauguration on August 5, when the number killed was 112. The previous five-and-a-half months had seen 196 executions.

    So far this year, Amnesty says "at least and probably many more than 200" have been hanged.

    Stoning was not a punishment prescribed by law until 1983, four years after the Islamic revolution. This form of execution is not demanded by the Koran, but is recommended for adultery in separate "Hadith" or traditions followed by both the Sunni and Shia branches of the religion.

    Because the requirements of proof in such cases is high, they almost always rely on "confessions", which may explain the determination of the authorities to extract and publicise confessions by Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

    A moratorium on stoning in Iran was imposed in 2002, which was formalised in 2008, though since 2002 at least five men and a woman were killed in this way. Two men were executed in December, and a third, Vali Azad, in secret in a prison in north-western Iran on March 5 2009.

    Among the others known to have been executed in 2009 were five who were under the age of 18 when their offences were committed, four boys and one girl.

    The total number of executions has fallen, however, since the peak of political executions in the 1980s following the Revolution. In 1988, thousands of political prisoners at least 4,000, and up to 30,000 in some reports were executed on the orders of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

    The moratorium on stoning is part of a wider move to set clearer limits on the penalty. Although boys over the age of 15 and girls over the age of nine can in theory be executed, the authorities say that as of 2008 no one is actually killed until they reach their 18th birthday.

    In a case in 2004 a 16-year-old girl was hanged for "crimes against chastity", with the same Revolutionary Court judge acting as investigator, prosecutor, judge and hangman. He was later accused, though never convicted, of raping her in prison, and said he had carried out the punishment for her insolence during the trial.

    However, the authorities now say juveniles can only be executed for murder in cases where the family of the victim have refused to exercise their right under Islamic law to accept blood money in return for a reprieve.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...xecutions.html

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    Iran suspends death penalty of Ashtiani:

    An Iranian top Parliament Member Zohreh Elahian said death penalty of an Iranian woman accused of killing her husband was suspended.

    "Stoning verdict of Sakineh Mohammadi- Ashtiani has not been finalized and it is suspended at the moment, but she is sentenced to 10-year jail term," said the Chairwoman of Iranian Parliament Human Rights Committee in her letter to Brazilian new President Dilma Rousseff in which she explained some points raised by Roussef on Iran.

    Elahian said that stoning penalty of the Iranian woman is suspended since families of her husband have forgiven her, but she was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment.

    Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to stoning due to charges of having adultery and killing her husband.

    Elahian in her letter insisted that, "according to evidence the Iranian woman has betrayed to her family and killed her husband jointly with her beloved. She has confessed to her crimes during her trial process."

    Elahian also added that smear campaign launched by western media seeks psychological war with political motives against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    In December, the then Brazilian president-elect expressed disappointment with her government's decision to abstain from voting on a UN resolution condemning Iran's human rights record.

    The resolution passed by a vote of 80 to 44, with 57 abstentions and spearheaded by Canada, accused the Islamic Republic of human rights violations.

    http://www.isna.ir/ISNA/NewsView.asp...1696800&Lang=E

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    Iran to execute record numbers in 2011rights groups

    Iran, which set off a diplomatic storm by hanging a Dutch-Iranian woman, is on target to execute a record number of over 1,000 people this year, rights groups said Sunday.

    And the execution of Zahra Bahrami is just the latest case of a "serious lack of transparency" in Iran's growing use of capital punishment, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

    The Netherlands froze contacts with Iran following Saturday's execution.

    Many groups say Iran has the highest per capita execution rate in the world.

    In 2009, the last year for which complete statistics are available, Iran executed at least 388 people and was second only to China in how many people it put to death, according to Amnesty International.

    Rights groups believe there was a sharp rise in 2010 and with Bahrami's death, HRW now estimates that at least 74 prisoners have been executed since January 1. An AFP toll based on Iranian media reports found at least 66.

    "At the current rate, authorities will easily have executed more than 1,000 prisoners before 2011 draws to a close," HRW's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said.

    HRW's Middle East researcher Faraz Sanei denounced "the Iranian judiciary's serious lack of transparency surrounding the execution of individuals convicted of crimes carrying the death penalty."

    The group said her execution and others highlight "a deepening of the human rights crisis that gripped the country following the disputed June 2009 presidential election" that secured a second term for hawkish President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Bahrami, a Dutch-naturalized Iranian, was detained after anti-government protests in Tehran in December 2009. She was later charged and found guilty of narcotics offenses.

    The woman said she was tortured into confessing and denied the charges, according to her family and rights groups.

    Her daughter, quoted by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, said neither the family nor Bahrami's lawyer had been officially informed of the hanging.

    "Shouldnt they have informed her family and lawyer before executing her? We should have gone to see her before her execution," said Banafsheh Nayebpour. "Is it so easythat my mother is no longer in this world? Did I not have any right to see her before her execution?"

    A growing number of people are being charged and executed for what HRW calls the "vague" charge of "moharebeh," or enmity against Godthe original charge against Bahrami.

    HRW said at least 13 people have now been executed since November 2009 on these charges following what it called "flawed trials in revolutionary courts."

    On January 24, Iran carried out the 1st executions of political activistsJafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghaeidetained in street protests after the 2009 election. Both were accused of "moharebeh," according to HRW.

    (source: Agence France-Presse)

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    At least 66 execution in Iran's death penalty in January - UN says

    UNITED NATIONS: With at least 66 people having been executed in Iran in January alone, including several political activists, the United Nations (UN) human rights chief on Wednesday voiced alarm and once again called on the Government to halt the use of the death penalty.


    The majority of executions were reportedly carried out in relation to drug offenses, but at least three political prisoners were among those hanged, according to a news release issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).


    "We have urged Iran, time and again, to halt executions," said High Commissioner Navi Pillay. "I am very dismayed that instead of heeding our calls, the Iranian authorities appear to have stepped up the use of the death penalty."

    There are at least three known cases in which political activists were executed. Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aqaei and another man whose name was not disclosed were affiliated with banned political parties. Kazemi and Aqaei were arrested in September 2009 during protests.


    All three individuals were convicted of mohareb or "enmity against God," and hanged last month.

    "Dissent is not a crime," Pillay underlined, recalling that Iran is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to free expression and to free association.

    "It is absolutely unacceptable for individuals to be imprisoned for association with opposition groups, let alone be executed for their political views or affiliations," Pillay added.

    The UN human rights chief also condemned the two instances in which public executions were held, despite a circular issued in January 2008 by the head of the judiciary that banned public executions.

    In addition, Pillay voiced deep concern that a large number of people reportedly remain on death row, including more political prisoners, drug offenders and even juvenile offenders.

    "As Iran is no doubt aware, the international community as a whole is moving towards abolition of the death penalty in law or in practice. I call upon Iran to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty," Pillay stressed.

    "At a minimum, I call upon them to respect international standards guaranteeing due process and the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, to progressively restrict its use and reduce the number of offenses for which it may be imposed."

    Two independent UN human rights experts have also joined the High Commissioner's call for an immediate moratorium on executions, given the "gravity of the situation and the regular disregard of due process."

    Christof Heyns, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, noted in a news release that, under international law, the death penalty is regarded as an extreme form of punishment which, if used at all, should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, after a fair trial.

    "Any death sentence undertaken in contravention of a Government's international obligations is tantamount to an arbitrary execution," Heyns stated.

    Furthermore, Gabriela Knaul, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, deplored that "in many cases, people sentenced to death do not have access to legal representation and their families and lawyers are not even informed of the execution."

    The Special Rapporteurs reiterated the appeals made to the Iranian authorities by several UN experts to allow them to visit the country, and encouraged the Government to respond positively to their request.

    http://news.oneindia.in/2011/02/03/a...u-aid0127.html

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    Trial of U.S. hikers in Iran

    Americans deny spy charges in Iranian court

    Two Americans held in Iran for the last 18 months on suspicion of espionage pleaded not guilty in court on Sunday on the first day of their closed-door trial, state television reported.

    Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested on July 31, 2009 near Irans border with Iraq, along with a third American, Sarah Shourd, who was released on $500,000 bail in September and returned home. The trio, in their late 20s and early 30s, say they were hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq and, if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran, it was by mistake. Under Iranian law, espionage can carry the death penalty. State-run English language Press TV said the two men had appeared in court but that Shourd, who had been summoned, did not. All three pleaded not guilty of espionage and illegal entry, Press TV said.

    No date has been set for the trial to resume, it added. The proceedings were closed to the public and press. The affair has compounded tension between Tehran and Washington, which have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent storming of the US embassy by revolutionary students.

    A trial date set for last November was postponed at the last minute due to the absence of Shourd, who has met President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the United States since her release. Press TV quoted the Tehran prosecutors office as saying it has compelling evidence that three were cooperating with US intelligence agencies.

    The defence lawyer, who was barred from seeing his clients for four months before the day of their trial, said he was confident the spying charge would be shown to be baseless and even charges of illegal entry into Iran could be beaten.

    I have studied all the details and I am sure that my clients are not guilty and the espionage charge does not have any substance, Masoud Shafii told Reuters before the trial. Even if the illegal entry happened, due to the fact that the border is not signposted and they could not have recognised it; even if it did happen, they are not at fault, he said. reuters

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...-2-2011_pg14_3

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    Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi and rights groups demand moratorium on executions

    Other nations and the UN should speak out against a wave of executions in Iran, the Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and six human rights organisations said today. Shirin Ebadi and the human rights groups called on the Iranian Judiciary and Parliament to institute an immediate moratorium on all executions.

    At least 86 people have been executed since the start of 2011, according to information received by the six organisations. The groups are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the International Federation for Human Rights, and its affiliate, the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights. At least eight of those executed in January were political prisoners, convicted of enmity against God (moharebeh) for participating in demonstrations, or for their alleged links to opposition groups.

    Shirin Ebadi said:

    The Iranian authorities have shown that they are no longer content to repress those contesting the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by arresting and convicting them - they have shown they will now resort to execution.

    They are using the familiar tactic of carrying out political executions at the same time as mass executions of prisoners convicted of criminal offences. These executions may increase if the world is silent."

    The increase in executions follows the entry into force in late December 2010 of an amended anti-narcotics law, drafted by the Expediency Council and approved by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Officials have also vowed to step up enforcement measures against drug trafficking. Sixty-seven of those executed in January had been convicted of drug trafficking. The true number of executions may be even higher, the groups said, as there are credible reports that some executions that are not officially announced are taking place in prisons.

    Another prisoner executed in January was Zahra Bahrami, who had dual Dutch-Iranian nationality. The prosecutors office charged her with drug possession and trafficking after she had been arrested for participating in a post-election demonstration. Zahra Bahrami had no right to an appeal, as her death sentence was confirmed by the Prosecutor Generals office. Despite the intervention of the Dutch authorities and calls by the European Union not to execute her, the Iranian authorities executed her without warning. They did not allow her to meet with her lawyer or provide the legally required 48 hour notice prior to her execution.

    Shirin Ebadi said:

    The authorities have for years arrested and tried their opponents on politically motivated criminal charges such as possession of alcohol or drugs and illegal possession of arms. They have imprisoned lawyers and journalists, some of them my colleagues, on such trumped-up charges.

    Given the sharp rise in executions, the lack of transparency in the Iranian judicial system and recent changes in the narcotics law, there is a great danger that authorities will use ordinary criminal charges to sentence opponents to death."

    The recent executions also raise fears for the lives of two men, Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari, believed to have been sentenced to death by Revolutionary Courts following separate unfair trials in which they were accused of spreading corruption on earth."

    On January 30, the Tehran Prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, announced that the death sentences of two unnamed administrators of obscene websites had been sent to the Supreme Court for review. Human rights activists in Iran believe that he was referring to Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari.

    Saeed Malekpour, a 35-year-old web designer and permanent resident of Canada, was sentenced to death at the end of November 2010 for creating pornographic internet sites and insulting the sanctity of Islam. Prior to his arrest during a family visit to Iran in 2008, he had created a programme enabling the user to upload photos. That programme had then been used to post pornographic images, which he said had happened without his knowledge. He is alleged to have been tortured while being held for more than a year in solitary confinement in Evin Prison.

    Vahid Asghari, a 24-year-old information technology student enrolled at a university in India, has also been detained since 2008 and reportedly tortured. He is believed to have been tried in late 2010, but the verdict has never been officially announced.

    There is also concern surrounding the case of Yousef Nadarkhani. Authorities arrested Yousef Nadarkhani, a pastor in a 400-member church in northern Iran, in October 2009. He was sentenced to death in September 2010 for apostasy from Islam, despite the fact that no such crime currently exists under Irans penal code. His sentence is currently under appeal before the Supreme Court.

    On January 26 authorities announced that Sayed Ali Gharabat had been executed for spreading corruption and apostasy in Karoun Prison, Ahvaz, after he, according to authorities, falsely claimed to have communicated with the Twelfth Imam. Twelver Shia Muslims believe that the Twelfth Imam is currently in hiding and will return to earth to bring about justice.

    Freedom of religion and belief is guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Iran is a state party. The covenant includes the right to change ones religion.

    Iran executes more people than any country other than China. The hundreds, if not thousands, of prisoners currently on death row may include more than 140 who were under the age of 18 at the time they allegedly committed their offence. International law prohibits the execution of persons for offences that they committed while under 18.

    To put an end to this killing spree, other nations should demand that Iran immediately end these executions and respect its obligations under international law, Shirin Ebadi and the six human rights organisations said.

    Iran has made consistent efforts to obstruct scrutiny of the situation in the country by international human rights mechanisms over the past five years. In light of that record, Shirin Ebadi and the organisations called on other nations to take advantage of the forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council to appoint a special envoy of the UN Secretary-General with a mandate to investigate and report on human rights conditions in Iran.

    Background

    Since 1979, Iran has executed thousands of men, women and even children for a variety of alleged offences.

    Article 6 (2) of the ICCPR states: In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court."

    Iran has never signed the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, and has voted against successive resolutions by the UN General Assembly calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, most recently in December.

    Human rights organisations, including the six who have joined this statement, have documented numerous human rights abuses during detention and trials. These violations include psychological and physical pressure, amounting to torture, to force prisoners to confess to alleged crimes, the use of extended solitary confinement, and lack of access to lawyers.

    In addition, the Revolutionary Courts hold most of their trials behind closed doors, despite a requirement under Article 168 of the Iranian Constitution that trials for political and press offences should be open.

    In many cases, such as Zahra Bahramis, lawyers of those sentenced to death are informed of their clients executions only after they have taken place, despite the legal requirement for 48 hours notice.

    (source: Amnesty UK)

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    Annual Report of the Death Penalty in Iran in 2010

    Introduction:The annual report of 2010 is being presented at a moment when Iran is going through one of the worst execution waves since the end of 1980s. According to official Iranian sources 85 people have been executed in January 2011. At least 3 of those executed in January 2011 were arrested in connection with the 2009 post election protests.

    The annual report of the death penalty in 2010 shows a dramatic increase in the number of executions compared to the previous years. The number of annual executions in 2010 in Iran is probably the highest since the mass executions of political prisoners in the summer of 1988.

    Commenting this report, the spokesperson of IHR Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said: The dramatic increase in the number of executions during the past year, and especially numerous reports of unlawful mass-executions in Khorasan province, demands urgent action by the world community. He added: The execution numbers are increasing even more in 2011 and have passed far beyond the alarming level. Amiry-Moghaddam ended: Several political and non-political prisoners are at imminent danger of execution and we ask the UN to send its Special Rapporteurs to Iran immediately.

    Due to ongoing investigations, more than 200 additional executions are not included into this report. Thus, it is important to emphasize that the numbers presented in the present report are strongly underestimated compared to the executions reports that IHR has received, and we believe that the actual numbers are even higher.

    Sources

    The present report is primarily based on the information published by the official Iranian sources and gathered by members of IHR. 57% of the total number of the executions is based on reports published by the official Iranian news agencies or on statements by high-ranking officials within the Iranian judiciary. This year IHR has received reports on large numbers of executions that havent been reported by the official Iranian sources. IHR has only included those cases in its annual report that have been confirmed by at least 2 different independent sources. In case of executions reported by other human rights organizations outside Iran, IHR has included the executions in its annual report only when the reports have directly been confirmed through the sources inside Iran.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Death Penalty in Iran in 2010

    Some facts:

    - At least 546 people were executed according to IHRs annual report 2010

    - 312 of the 546 executions have been confirmed officially or unofficially by the Iranian authorities

    - More than 200 additional executions reported to IHR, are not included in the annual report due to difficulties in confirming some of the details

    - At least 2 minor offenders were among those executed in Iran in 2010

    - At least 8 women were executed in 2010

    - Among the executions reported by the official Iranian sources only 32% of those executed were identified with both the first and the last name

    - 19 executions took place in public

    - At least 50 Afghan citizens, one Nigerian and one citizen of Ghana were among those executed in Iran in 2010

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2010: The highest number of annual executions in the past 10 years

    [sources: Amnesty International (AI) and Iran Human Rights (IHR):]

    - 2000: 165 (AI)

    -- 2001: 75 (AI)

    - 2002: 316 (AI)

    - 2003: 154 (AI)

    - 2004: 108 (AI)

    - 2005: 94 (AI)

    - 2006: 177 (AI)

    - 2007: 317 (AI) - 2008: 350 (IHR), (346; AI)

    - 2009: 402 (IHR), (388; AI)

    - 2010: 546 (IHR)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Reports of mass executions

    In 2010 IHR received a large number of reports about executions not reported by the Iranian authorities. Most of these reports were from different prisons in the northeastern provinces of Khorasan, especially the Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Most of the executions have taken place secretly without prior information to the prisoners or their families.< P> The executions started already in 2009, but increased dramatically after Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejehei became general prosecutor of the country. The sources used here have reliable sources in direct contact with IHR, reports from other human rights groups and unofficial statements by sources within the Iranian judiciary. IHR has only included the executions that have been confirmed by more than one independent and reliable source.

    The following cases have been included in the present report:

    - 50 executions in the period of February-April 2010 in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. 35 executions on April 10th. Only 5 of them were reported by the official Iranian sources. Source: Ahmad Ghabel, a religious scholar close to former president Khatami, who had spent 170 days in the Vakilabad prison of Mashhad and who was released in June. According to him at least 50 people were executed in the section were he was imprisoned. Mr. Ghabel was later arrested and put into jail because of revealing information about the mass-executions in the Vakilabad prison.

    ?- 45 Afghan citizens executed in April 2010 in northern Khorasan (Most probably in Taibad). Sources: Afghan sources, among them Afghan MPs reported that bodies of 45 Afghan citizens who had been executed in a city in northeast of Iran were transferred to Afghanistan. According to these reports the executions had taken place within three days. Despite the fact that several Afghan sources belonging to Afghanistans civil society have told IHR that the actual number of the executed Afghans who were delivered in groups to their families in Afghanistan were higher than the 45 reported cases, IHR has chosen to include only 45 cases in the present report.

    - 7 Afghan citizens executed on May 30th in Taibad (northern hoarsen) reported with full identity. Source: Afghan sources in contact with IHR, Pajhwok Afghan news site

    - Mass execution of 46 people in one day in July-August in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Sources: reliable sources IHR been in contact with. Included under July in the report.

    - Mass execution of 67 people in the Vakilabad prison on August 18th. Sources: reliable sources IHR been in contact with, International campaign for human rights in Iran (IHCR), and unofficial statement by high ranking officials within the Iranian judiciary.

    - A citizen of Ghana identified as Aquasi Aquabe was among those executed on August 18th. Sources: IHR sources, ICHR

    - 13 people, among them a Nigerian citizen identified as Paul Chindo, executed on October 5th in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Sources: reliable sources IHR been in contact with, ICHR. Nigerian officials

    - 10 people on October 12th, 10 people on October 26th, 11 people November 9th, 9 people on November 30th, and 10 people on December 10th, all in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Sources: reliable sources IHR been in contact with, ICHR

    - Most of those executed were convicted of drug trafficking

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    More than 205 cases were not included in the report:

    - 55 people executed in February-March in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Source: reliable sources IHR. Reason of exclusion: inaccurate numbers

    - 50-70 people executed on August 4th in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Source: reliable sources IHR. Reason of exclusion: inaccurate numbers

    - 50-70 people executed on August 11th in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Source: reliable sources IHR. Reason of exclusion: inaccurate numbers

    - 50-70 people executed in Birjand between August and November. Source: reliable sources IHR. Reason of exclusion: inaccurate numbers and inaccurate time

    On August 25th IHR published a statement on the mass-executions in Mashhad and urged the United Nations to send their Special Rapporteur to Iran as soon.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Charges:

    According to the official Iranian media, a majority of those who were executed were convicted of drug-related offences (66%), followed by Moharebeh or enemity against God (13%), rape (9%), murder (6%), immoral acts or acts against chastity (1%) and kidnapping (1%). Note for 4% of the executions announced by official Iranian media no charges were mentioned. Note that charges against those executed under the mass-executions in the Khorasan provinces are not included here. According to our sources most of those executed in Mashhad were convicted of drug trafficking.

    It is important to emphasize that all drug-related cases are processed at the revolutionary courts behind the closed doors. The trials in the revolutionary courts are even less transparent than the ordinary courts. For instance, the Iranian-Dutch citizen who was arrested under December 2009 protests and executed in January 2011, was convicted of drug trafficking by a revolutionary court.

    We underline that charges mentioned above have not been confirmed by independent sources and are solely based on the official Iranian sources.

    Moharebeh:

    Moharebeh (war against God) is a term commonly used by the Iranian authorities for those who are either involved in armed struggle against the authorities or have connections with such groups.

    Among the 38 people executed convicted of Moharebeh:

    - 13 people were convicted membership in the Baluchi militant group Jondollah,

    - 5 people were convicted of membership in the Kurdish group PJAK

    - 3 men were convicted of membership in the Iranian monarchist association and bombing of a mosque in Shiraz. One of them a minor convict.

    - 1 person was convicted of connection with Mujahedin-khalgh or Peoples Mujahidin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI)

    - There are reports on torture/ill-treatment of all the above mentioned prisoners

    - Neither the families nor the lawyers of the above mentioned people were informed prior to the execution as the Iranian law demands

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Information provided by the authorities about the identities of those executed

    - Only 32% of those who were executed according to the official Iranian media were identified by full name and even smaller portion with age. - At least 8 women were among those executed according to the official Iranian sources. Only 3 of them were identified by name: Shirin Alam Holi convicted of Moharebeh, Shahla Jahed convicted of murder and Mahin Ghadiri convicted of murder

    Executions of minor offenders:

    Iran continues executions of minor offenders in 2010. Also in 2010 Iran executed minor offenders. At least 2 people were convicted of offences they had allegedly committed when they were under the age of 18.

    - Arash Rahmanipour, convicted of Moharebeh through membership in the Monarchist association and planning terrorist plots was according to his lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh (press interview) 17 years old at the time of alleged offences. He was also victim of forced confessions. He was executed on January 28th 2010. Nasrin Sotoudeh, Rahmanipours lawyer, is currently in prison sentenced to 6 years in prison.

    - Mohammad (last name not known), convicted of murder, executed in July in Shiraz. He was 17 years old at the time of committing the alleged offence, according to the Iranian daily Vatan-e-Emruz

    - There are also reports of possible minors among those executed in the summer of 2010 in Mashhad. IHR is currently investigating these matters.

    (source: Iran Human Rights)

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    Iran Executions Under Scrutiny

    Iran is coming under increased scrutiny for the number of executions it carries out. Media reports from Iran on Wednesday reported the punishment for 10 drug traffickers. Human rights groups say Iran executes more people per capita than any other country in the world.

    The United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said last month that there has recently been a dramatic increase in the number of executions carried out in Iran. She said the rate was 3 times higher than that of last year.

    In the latest instances of capital punishment, Irans Arman newspaper reports seven people were hanged on Tuesday in Kerman Province in southern Iran. A judiciary website reported another 3 executions in Fars Province, also in the south. It didnt say when the executions took place.

    All 10 were convicted on drug charges.

    According to international law, the death penalty should be limited to the most serious crimes, which the U.N. says applies to crimes that are lethal or have extremely grave consequences.

    Drewery Dyke is an Iran researcher at Britain-based Amnesty International.

    Therefore the application, as is the case in Iran, of the death penalty to forms of drug trafficking, drug related crimes, to extremely vaguely-worded charges such as Moharebeh or enmity against God, for which we have seen both this year and last, Dyke said. These are really beyond what is provided for in international law.

    Amnesty says Iran is second only to China in the number of people it executes. In 2009, Amnesty says Iranian authorities put 388 people to death. Iranian media reported 179 hangings last year and 89 executions so far this year.

    According to New York-based Human Rights Watch, Iran is one of only three countries that, since 2009, have put someone to death for a crime they committed before turning 18. The other two countries are Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

    Iran says the death penalty is needed to maintain law and order.

    Amnesty's Dyke says Iran also has historically used the death penalty in part as a political tool.

    "The Iranian authorities have used the implementation of the death penalty and mass use of the death penalty to convey a message to would-be opponents of the regime to get in line, Dyke added.

    Iranian authorities have cracked down in recent weeks on political unrest that was revived by successful uprisings against authoritarian leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.

    Iranians who oppose the leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have gathered under the Green Movement that sprang up after Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a disputed poll back in 2009.

    Anthony Skinner is a Middle East expert with the London-based risk analysis group Maplecroft. He says Iran's administration may use the death penalty as a way to intimidate potential opponents.

    "The government obviously wants to put a lid on the Green Movement, it wants to deter the Green Movement from gaining any kind of momentum from Libya and elsewhere in the broader (Middle East/North Africa) region, said Skinner. And it's trying to intimidate and trying to intercept communications and trying to use whatever mechanisms it has in its power in order to basically defuse the thrust of the Green Movement.

    Some hard-line politicians in Iran have called for the trial and execution of two Green Movement leaders, Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Opposition sources say both are being held in a Tehran prison although Iranian authorities have denied this.

    (source: Voice of America News)

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    Iran Capital Punishment News

    IRAN: American hiker, released on bail after being detained in 2009, is subpoenaed for court hearing

    A woman who was among three Americans detained by Iranian forces in 2009 on suspicion of spying is wanted back in Iran for a court hearing in May, a news agency reported Tuesday.

    Subpoenas issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry indicate Sarah Shourd's presence at the court session scheduled May 11 is considered mandatory, said her lawyer, Masoud Shafii, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

    Iran released Shourd on $500,000 bail in September, but her two male companions remained jailed in Tehran. Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, who have pleaded not guilty, were hiking near the Iran-Iraq border when they were arrested.

    Espionage charges can carry the death penalty under Iranian law.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/baby...5431f74641970c

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