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  1. #11
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    Oct 2010
    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to face death by stoning or hanging: semi-official ISNA news agency

    Authorities in Iran said Sunday they are again moving ahead with plans to execute a woman sentenced to death by stoning on an adultery conviction in a case that sparked an international outcry, but are considering whether to carry out the punishment by hanging instead.

    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is already behind bars, serving a 10-year sentence on a separate conviction in the murder of her husband. Amid the international outrage her case generated, Iran in July 2010 suspended plans to carry out her death sentence on the adultery conviction.

    On Sunday, a senior judiciary official said experts were studying whether the punishment of stoning could be changed to hanging.

    "There is no haste. ... We are waiting to see whether we can carry out the execution of a person sentenced to stoning by hanging or not," said Malek Ajdar Sharifi, the head of justice department of East Azerbaijan province, where Ashtiani is jailed.

    "As soon as the result (of the investigation) is obtained, we will carry out the sentence," he said, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

    The charge of a married woman having an illicit relationship requires a punishment of stoning, he said.

    He said judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani ordered a halt to stoning in order to allow Islamic experts to investigate whether the punishment can be altered in Ashtiani's case.

    Ashtiani was convicted of adultery in 2006 after the murder of her husband.

    She was later convicted of being an accessory to her husband's murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

  2. #12
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    Oct 2010
    Iran Secret Executions: Findings Challenge Judiciary’s False Narrative

    The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran published the 1st public list of 101 victims of secret group executions in Vakilabad Prison today. The Campaign called on the Iranian Parliament and judiciary to immediately institute a moratorium on executions and to move swiftly to abolish the death penalty.

    “Unfortunately, many of these executions happen behind closed doors, without the involvement of lawyers or awareness of the victim’s family, and without access to a fair trial,” said Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi.

    Ebadi added that Iran’s abuse of the death penalty has not been successful in fighting crime, saying:

    “The Iranian judiciary and government know that the death penalty is not a suitable solution for fighting crime, particularly drug-related crimes. The basic question is this: why does the Iranian government use this type of punishment with such enthusiasm? The issue is that these executions only create fear and intimidation and serve only a political purpose. All of the statistics show that while the number of executions have increased the number of drug-related crimes have not decreased at all.”

    On 21 December 2011, Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, head of the judiciary, said “I categorically deny any secret mass executions… All executions are announced to my office…if anyone has information about executions anywhere that have been secret and without knowledge of families, let us know and we will investigate it.”

    The list published today by the Campaign reveals the names of 101 individuals who have reportedly been executed without official acknowledgement, between 9 June 2010 and 20 December 2010, in Vakilabad Prison. This list, accompanied by the briefing paper Iran’s Secret Hangings: Mass Unannounced Executions in Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison, is the first time any identities of those secretly executed at Vakilabad have been made public.

    Local activists obtained this information under serious risk to their personal safety in order to lend more credence to past reports.

    “This statistic, in my opinion, and the opinion of other contributors to this report, is the baseline figure,” said renowned Iranian human rights activist Asieh Amini, who contributed to this report.

    “To me, the issue of executions is not a matter simply for one individual, one city, or one community. Nor is it an issue simply between the victims and their families. For us, executions is a national issue, and must be addressed widely … When the major human rights news is about Iran’s many unjust, secret, mass executions, it is the responsibility of every Iranian to ask of the judiciary, ‘why?,’ and to try to end this national shame,” she added.

    Iran is the world’s leading per-capita executor, following only China in absolute numbers. In 2011, Iran put to death over 600 individuals, at least 161 of which were in secret.

    The Campaign has documented 471 secret executions in Mashhad and other cities since January 2010. The actual numbers are likely much higher. The Campaign received this information from local sources and activists with access to government data.

    Executions are considered secret when they are not publicly reported by authorities and the victim’s family and lawyers have no prior knowledge that the sentence is set to be carried out.

    According to local activists the inmates secretly put to death in Vakilabad were unaware that they were scheduled for execution until just before its implementation. Prison authorities informed the individuals only hours before their execution that they had to write their wills and perform ritual cleansing in preparation for death.

    Prison authorities hung the inmates around dusk in an open-air hallway leading to the prison’s visiting room. Contributing to the shroud of secrecy surrounding the executions, the phones within Vakilabad Prison were disconnected hours before, preventing calls in and out of the prison.

    The bureaucratic efficiency of these hangings is exemplified by the fact that the medical examiner’s office issued many of the corresponding death certificates up to a day before the execution. Death certificates listed the cause of death as ghatl-e ghanooni or “legal murder.”

    The actual executions were witnessed by representatives of several government agencies including the Mashhad Prosecutor’s office, local and district police, the local judiciary, the Medical Examiner’s office, as well as Vakilabad’s warden and intelligence chief.

    Most of these executions are believed to have been carried out in the absence of international safeguards and fair trial standards.

    Sources in Mashhad described how many of these convictions came from rushed and unjust trials, marked by unfair and flawed judicial processes. On 18 August 2010, the nephew of one of the executed prisoners told the Campaign: “It took only two months from the time of the arrest to the implementation of [my] uncle’s sentence while he was not granted the right to a fair trial … the truth or inaccuracy of his [defense] was never even investigated.”

    Some of the inmates executed in Vakilabad were foreign nationals, including citizens of Afghanistan, Ghana, and Nigeria, and apparently did not have access to their diplomatic representatives. The large majority of those executed are believed to be from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

    Moreover, the vast majority of secret executions have reportedly been for drug crimes, for which capital punishment is not permissible under international law.

    When pressed, Iranian officials have publicly admitted that some of these secret executions had taken place. According to UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon’s March 2011 report on human rights in Iran, the Iranian government confirmed a 60-person group execution in Mashhad.

    The secret killing spree has elicited international concern and condemnation and was cited as a rights violation in the October 2011 interim report by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

    Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Iran ratified in 1975, mandates that “[i]n countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes.”

    The UN Human Rights Committee, the leading international authority on the ICCPR, and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, have made clear that drug offences do not meet the “most serious crimes” standard. Therefore, Iran’s use of the death penalty for these offenses violates the government’s international obligations.

    Article 14 of the ICCPR guarantees all criminal suspects the right to a fair trial. Moreover, the UN Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those Facing the Death Penalty makes clear that “[c]apital punishment may only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court after legal process which gives all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial,” and that defendants must have access to multiple appeals.

    Worldwide, 96 countries, including Brazil, Turkey, and Rwanda, have formally abolished the death penalty, with another 34 countries, such as Kenya, Morocco, and Russia, ending its use in practice.

    “Iran has shown an inability to use the death penalty in a legal and accountable manner,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson. “With skyrocketing execution numbers marred by unfair trials and opaque judicial proceedings, it’s time for Iran to institute a moratorium and join the growing trend towards abolition.”

    Source: Iran Human Rights, January 5, 2012

  3. #13
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    Oct 2010
    Iran changes law for execution of juveniles

    Feb 10 – Iran has changed the controversial law of executing juveniles the spokesman of the judiciary commission of the parliament said on Friday.

    Amin-Hossein Rahimi, lawmaker from Malayer said that according to the new Islamic Penalty law which was approved by the Guardian council death penalty of juveniles under the age of 18 has been changed.

    Iran has angered many international organizations and countries for carrying out execution on minors in the past 30 years.

    Based on the Islamic law which now seems to have been revised, girls at the age of 9 and boys at 15 of lunar year (11 days shorter than a solar year) were fully responsible for their crimes.

    “In the new law the age of 18 (solar year) is for both gender and offenders under the age would be considered as juvenile and would be sentenced on a separate law than of adults”, he was quoted as saying./-

  4. #14
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    Oct 2010
    Tehran to abandon death by stoning

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    Iran has amended its penal code by removing all executions by stoning and ending the death penalty for juvenile offenders.

    Under the old penal code, stoning to death was one of the sentences applied for adultery. Iranian activists who campaigned against the practice said at least 99 men and women have been executed by stoning since 1980.

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    Iran leads the world in the number of juveniles it executes, says Human Rights Watch, a US based pressure group. In its 2012 world report, the organisation said more than a hundred under-18s were believed to be on death row. Iran executed at least three minors in 2011.

    Iran’s domestic media have reported that the guardian council, the constitutional watchdog which ensures the country’s laws do not contradict sharia, or Islamic law, has given its approval to the reforms.

    The new law is expected to be enforced “soon”. “The changes are major and definitely positive because they make the penal code closer to modern rules, give it a logical order and moderate its deficiencies,” said a prominent lawyer.

    Iran has a poor human rights record. Execution remains the main penalty for murder, adultery, homosexuality, drugs smuggling, armed action and any action deemed to be aimed at disrupting the country’s political, economic and social order.

    The US, European Union and the UN have put pressure on Iran to observe the rights of criminals, politicians, human rights activists and journalists.

    The UN last year appointed Ahmed Shaheed of the Maldives as special rapporteur on human rights to Iran, although so far he has been denied access to the country. The US and EU have imposed travel bans on Iranian officials who, they say, violate human rights.

    The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said, in a report in September, he was “deeply troubled by reports of increased numbers of executions, amputations, arbitrary arrest and detention, unfair trials, torture and ill-treatment”.

    Despite the pressure, the Islamic regime shows no significant flexibility toward its political prisoners and continues to suppress its opponents. In an effort to contain political dissent before an opposition march on Tuesday, about 30m Iranian internet users, many of whom have resorted to cyberspace to express their dissent, have had difficulties accessing Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail as well as foreign websites since last Thursday.

    Tehran has instead tried to improve its human rights record by amending penalties for ordinary crimes.

    In a non-binding circular issued about 10 years ago, Iran’s judiciary urged judges to avoid issuing death sentences by stoning and instead stick to hanging, while the death sentences against minors, were in most cases not carried out until the offenders had reached the age of 18. Human rights organisations argued that such measures were inadequate and insisted real change in the law was necessary.

    The stoning sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 45-year-old woman, on charges of adultery and murder led to an international outcry which has made the regime delay carrying out the sentence. She remains in jail in the northwestern city of Tabriz, capital of East Azerbaijan province.

    The prosecutor-general of the province said last month that Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the judiciary chief, had authorised hanging instead of stoning “because the main goal is execution”.

    Malek Azhdar Sharifi added that the hanging sentence would be carried out when final approval “after consultations amongst jurisprudents” was issued from Tehran.

  5. #15
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    Oct 2010


    Iran Human Rights, March 1: As the Iranian authorities continue the crackdown of the dissidents and the civil society, Iran Human Rights (IHR) presents its annual report on the death penalty in 2011 in Iran. The report was presented in press conferences at the Italian Senate, Paris City Hall and University of Oslo las week.


    The execution wave that began after the June 2009 post-election protests in Iran is still going on with high frequency . According to the present report, the execution figure in 2011 was the highest reported since the beginning of 1990’s.

    Iranian authorities continue executing several hundred prisoners each year in the pretext of fighting drug-trafficking. Among those executed for drug trafficking in 2011 we find alone mothers of dependent children, who were subjected to unfair trials and executed and those whose families do not even afford to pay the expenses for their funeral.

    What distinguishes the 2011 report from previous years is the dramatic increase in the number of public executions. The number of executions carried out publicly in 2011 in Iran is more than three times higher than the average in the previous years.

    There is no indication that the Iranian authorities’ execution machine will slow down in 2012. In the first two weeks of January 2012, an average of 3-4 people have been executed in Iran every day. By the end of January 2011, 11 executions have been carried out publicly.

    At the same time, Iranian authorities are threatening to execute more people for other “crimes”. The Iranian Supreme Court has recently approved the death sentence of Iranian-born Canadian permanent resident Saeed Malekpour for running “obscene” websites. He is now at imminent danger of execution.

    Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who converted to Christianity at the age of 19 and who was sentenced to death for Apostasy in 2010, might also be in danger of execution. There is serious concern that approval of the new Islamic Penal Code (IPC) by the Guardian Council might lead to more death penalties for Apostasy.

    Iran Human Rights is also concerned about reports indicating Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi might be in danger of execution.

    There are also indications that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani- the 43-year-old mother of two whose stoning death sentence was stopped, thanks to a worldwide campaign- might be in danger of execution.

    Recently, an Iranian judge has indicated that the stoning verdict for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani can be converted to death by hanging.

    Commenting on this report, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said: “There is little doubt that the Iranian authorities use the death penalty as a political mean. The dramatic increase in the number of executions shows that the Iranian regime is more than ever dependent on spreading fear to prolong its survival. Death penalty in general and public executions in particular- are the Iranian regime’s most important instrument for creating fear in the society.” He added: “We urge the international community to put sustainable focus on the human rights violations and particularly on the death penalty in Iran, and take further steps to stop the Iranian regime’s execution machine.”

    The figures included in this report are mainly based on information announced by the Iranian authorities. However, some figures are based on reports from reliable unofficial sources. During the past two years IHR has concluded that the number of the executions not announced by the official Iranian sources is much higher than previously anticipated. A significant portion of the unofficial figures included in this report has been prepared thanks to the individuals in Iran who, despite all the risks, have contributed with invaluable information to make the report somehow closer to the reality. IHR must emphasize that the actual number of the executions in Iran is probably much higher than the figures included in its annual report.


    The present report uses the Iranian authorities as its main source. 62% of the executions reported here are based on the news published by state-run media news agencies and newspapers and the statements made by high-ranking officials within the Iranian judiciary. Like last year, IHR has received reports on large numbers of executions that have not been announced by official Iranian sources. Many cases are directly communicated to IHR (though a direct witness, family member, lawyer, or key sources within the Judiciary) or reached us through other human rights organizations. The annual report only includes non-official cases which have been confirmed by at least two different independent sources.

    Some facts:

    • At least 676 people were executed according to IHR’s annual report 2011

    • 416 of the 676 executions (62%) were announced by the Iranian authorities

    • 65 executions were carried out in public. This is the highest number of public executions in more than 10 years.

    • At least 4 juvenile offenders were among those executed in Iran in 2011

    • At least 15 women were executed in 2011. Executions of 13 of these women were not announced by the Iranian authorities

    • 3 young men were executed convicted of sodomy

    • One man was executed convicted of “apostasy”

    • More than 80% of those executed were convicted of drug trafficking

    • Only 9% of those officially executed for drug charges were fully identified

    • IHR has received reports of secret or “un-announced” executions in more than 15 different Iranian prisons

    • More than 70 additional executions reported to IHR, are not included in the annual report due to difficulties in confirming some of the details

    2011: The highest number of annual executions in the past 11 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) (adjusted to 646)*

    • 2011: 676 (IHR) : Official: 416 non-official: 260

    * 100 of the 140 executions in the province of South Khorasan (Birjand) that were confirmed by the Iranian officials have been added to the 2010 numbers

    Drug trafficking:

    As in previous years drug trafficking was the most frequently used charge against those who were executed in 2011 in Iran. 81 % of those executed in 2011 (71% of the official and 88% of the unofficail cases) in Iran were convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death by the revolutionary courts. The trials were conducted behind the closed doors and it is not known whether the prisoners had access to lawyer or not. Since more than 80% (91% of the official and 81% of the unofficial cases) of those executed for drug-related charges are not identified by last (family) name it is not possible to confirm the charges. In 2011, there was at least one person who was primarily arrested sentenced to death for participation in anti-regime protests, but was later executed convicted of drug trafficking (see Case 2, below). IHR can not rule out that there might be other similar cases among those executed for drug trafficking.

    The figures presented in this report are in line with the report published by Amnesty International in December 2011 (Amnesty International report: Addicted to death).

    IHR has received reports indicating that many of those executed convicted of drug trafficking have not been subjected to fair trials.

    Case 1:Executed for drug trafficking:

    Three women - Leila Hayati, Hourieh Sabahi and Roghieh Khalaji- and two men- Mostafa Ahmadi and Ghanbar Shojaei- were arrested in January 2009 and charged with keeping and trafficking of narcotic drugs. They had no access to lawyer during their interrogations and were tried and sentenced to death by Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Hamedan, with no right to appeal. Laila Hayati was executed on September 28 while the four others were executed on October 8. None of the executions were announced by the official Iranian sources.

    Hourieh Sabahi (35) was alone mother of five children, one of them being disabled, and Roghieh Khalaji (32) was alone mother of a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter when they were arrested. Hourieh’s family didn’t even have the money to pay for her funeral after her execution. These are only some examples among the several hundred who were executed for “drug trafficking”.
    Case 2: Arrested after a protest demonstration but executed for drug trafficking

    Execution for sodomy:

    Six young men were executed in Ahvaz on September 5. The state run Iranian news agency ISNA reported that three of those executed were sentenced to death by the Ahvaz evolution court, convicted of "unlawful" acts and acts against Sharia, based on the articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic penal code.

    Articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic Penal code are part of the chapter covering the punishment of "Hadd" for “sodomy”. Article 108 says: “sodomy” (or Lavat) is sexual intercourse between men”, and article 110 says:”Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing". The spokesperson of Iran Human Rights (IHR), Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said:”(these) executions for sodomy might be among the rare cases were the Iranian authorities admit to having executed men convicted of homosexual acts". He added: "Iranian authorities normally present such cases as rape, but rape as not been mentioned in this case".

    There have been some changes made in the new IPC recently approved by the Guardian Council. The term “homosexual” is presented as a charge in the new law for men who engage in same-sex relations. Previously it was only used for women.


    Punishment for homosexuality is flogging or death under Iran’s new Islamic Penal Code:

    Article 233: the person who played an active role (in sodomy) will be flogged 100 times if the sex was consensual and he was not married, but the one who played a passive role will be sentenced to death regardless of his marriage status. If the active part is none Muslim and the passive part Muslim, both will be sentenced to death.

    Articles 236-237: Homosexual acts (except for sodomy) will be punished with 31 -99 lashes (both for men and women)

    Article 238: Homosexual relationship between women where there is contact between their sexual organs will be punished with 100 lashes



    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. Some of those who were convicted of Moharebeh through connection with the banned opposition groups are named below:

     Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei: Both convicted of Moharebeh through connections with the banned organization Mojahedin-e-Khalgh ( MEK/MKO). They had allegedly visited their children who were staying at Camp Ashraf, participated in the post-election protest demonstrations and sent pictures and reports of the demonstrations to MKO sources outside the country. They were executed in Tehran’s Evin prison on January 24.

     Hussein Khezri, convicted of Moharebeh through membership in the banned Kurdish organization PJAK. He was executed on January 15. in the prison of Urmia

     Farhad Tarom was executed for membership in the Kurdish Democratic Party on January 26. in the prison of Urmia


    The sentence of Apostasy in Sharia is death, but Apostasy is not explicitly mentioned in the new IPC. However, the new law makes it easier for judges to issue the death penalty for Apostasy because the new article 220 states: “If the present law is silent about any of the “hodoud” cases, the judge is referred to article 167 of the Constitution.” Article 167 of the Constitution states: "The Judge is bound to attempt to rule on each case, on the basis of the codified law. In case of the absence of any such law, he has to deliver his judgment on the basis of official Islamic sources and authentic fatwa.” The reference to article 167 was previously made in the Civil code but now it is also included in the Penal Law.

    Executions of minor offenders:

    Iran continued executions of juvenile offenders in 2011. At least four people were convicted of offences they had allegedly committed when they were under the age of 18. Two of them were under 18 years of age at the time they were executed. Two other juvenile offenders were executed in 2011 according to unofficial sources but IHR hasn’t confirmed their age yet.

    1. Alireza Molla-Soltani (17): Convicted of murder, Alireza Molla-Soltani was hanged publicly on September 21, 2011 when he was still 17 years old. Source: Iranian media

    2. A. N. : Convicted of rape and murder in 2008 when he was 17 years old. Hanged publicly together with three others in Bandar Abbas on April 21. Source: Iranian media

    3. H. B.: Involved in the same case as A.N., was 17 years old at the time committing the offence. Hanged publicly together with three others in Bandar Abbas on April 21. Source: Iranian media

    4. Hamid Hashemi (16):
    Belonging to the Arab minority in Ahwaz, was according to Ahwaz news executed in the prison of Ahwaz together with five others allegedly because of participating in a protest. Source: Ahwaz news, Unofficial

    5. Vahid M.: Executed for drug trafficking on September 18 according to the state run ISNA news agency. Full name: Vahid Moslemi, Afghan citizen who according to the rights group “Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran” (HRADI) was a juvenile when arrested (age not yet confirmed by IHR)

    6. Mohammad N.: Executed together with Vahid M. and 20 other prisoners on September 18 (ISNA). Full name: Mohammad Nourozi, Afghan citizen and juvenile when he was arrested according to HRADI (age not yet confirmed by IHR).


    Iran has ratified UN convention on the rights of the child which bans death penalty for the offences committed at under 18 years of age. But according to the IranianIslamic penal the minimum criminal age I 9 years for girls and 15 years for boys. In the new IPC that was recently ratified by the Guardian Council some changes have been made with regards to death penalty for juveniles. However, according to the article 90 of the new law a death sentence may still be applied for a juvenile who has reached “maturity”, if he or she has committed crimes that are considered to be "claims of God" and therefore have mandatory sentences (such as sodomy, rape, theft, fornication, apostasy and consumption of alcohol for the forth time).



    Execution of only three of the (at least) 15 women who were executed in 2011 has been reported by the Iranian authorities. The other executions have been reported to us through reliable unofficial sources. This trend might indicate that the Iranian authorities do not announce execution of the women prisoners in order to avoid international attention since the international opinion seems to be more sensitive to execution of women.

    1. Zahra Bahrami: Executed on January 28 in Tehran’s Evin prison. Iranian-Dutch citizen. Charge: drug trafficking. Originally arrested in connection with anti-regime protests and sentenced to death for Moharebeh. (Source: Iranian state media)

    Executed on February 28 in the prison of Urmia. Charge: drug trafficking (Source: HRANA)

    3. NOT IDENTIFIED: Executed on February 28 in the prison of Urmia. Charge: drug trafficking (Source: HRANA)

    4. Adiva Mirza Soleiman: Executed on March 14 in Tehran. Jewish. Charge: Unknown (Source: HRANA)

    5. NOT IDENTIFIED: Executed on March 14 in Tehran. . Charge: Unknown (Source: HRANA)

    Executed on May 24 in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Charge: drug trafficking(Source: ICHR)

    7. NOT IDENTIFIED: Executed on May 24 in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad . Charge: drug trafficking (Source: ICHR)

    8. NOT IDENTIFIED: Executed on May 24 in Vakilabad prison of Mashhad. Charge: drug trafficking (Source: ICHR)

    9. Begam N.: Executed on July 20 in the prison of Rafsanjan. Charge: drug trafficking. (Source: ISNA, Iranian state media)

    10. Leila Hayati: 29 year old, executed on September 28 in Hamedan. Charge: drug trafficking. (Source: IHR)

    11. S. M. B.: Executed on October 3 in Rasht. Charge: Adultery, allegedly sentenced to death by stoning, but hanged. (Source: IHR, further details are being investigated)

    12. Roghiyeh Khalaj: 32 year old, executed on October 5 in Hamedan. Charge: drug trafficking. (Source: IHR)

    13. Horiyeh Sabahi: 35 year old, executed on October 5 in Hamedan. Charge: drug trafficking. (Source: IHR)

    Executed on November 29 in the prison of Kermanshah. Charge: drug trafficking. (Source: Fars news agency, Iranian state media)

    15. Nahid A.: Executed on December 24 in the prison of Urmia. Charge: drug trafficking. (Source: Mukrian news agency)

    Public executions:

    In 2011 Iranian authorities carried out a record number of at least 65 public executions. Six of these executions have not been reported by the Iranian authorities.

    Most of those hanged publicly were convicted of Rape/sexual assaults (30 of 66), followed by murder ( 16 ), Moharebeh/armed robbery (10), drug trafficking (6) and kidnapping (1).In at least 2 of the public hangings, the execution was carried out by a civilian (as qesas, or retribution)

    Geographical distribution of the public executions:

    A child is watching a public execution in Iran in Khomeinishahr in October 2011. IHR has urged the international community and the United Nations to put a ban on the public executions.

    Reports of secret/non-official executions

    In 2011 IHR received a large number of reports about executions not reported by the Iranian authorities. Execution reports from more than 15 different prisons throughout Iran have been confirmed. IHR has received reports of more than 70 other executions that haven’t been included in the present reports. These cases are in the process of being confirmed.

    Some of the unofficial executions are not announced by official media, but the lawyers and family members of the prisoners were notified prior to the execution. In other cases, executions are categorized as “secret” since neither the lawyers or family members were informed before the execution took place.

    IHR received reports in 2010 of 60-70 executions carried out in Birjand prison. Due to the lack of details surrounding their cases, those executions were not included in the annual report. However, In June 2011, Mohammad Bagher Bagheri, a provincial Justice Ministry official in the South Khorasan province, said 140 drug smugglers had been executed in the province in the past Iranian year (21 March 2010 to 20 March 2011; Mehr News agency, 25. June 2011). IHR has received credible reports about three episodes of executions in Birjand prison in the period from January 2011 to March 2011. Two of these episodes have been confirmed by Iran’s Prosecutor General Mohseni Ejei (Fars news agency 31. January 2011; Siasat-e-rooz, 28. February 2011). Based on the available information IHR has included 100 of the 140 Birjand executions in the 2010 annual report (causing the annual number to increase from 546 to 646). Additionally, 40 of the executions are included in the 2011 annual report.

    The primary sources for the other un-announced executions have been Iran Human Rights (IHR), Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI), International Campaign for the Human Rights (ICHR), Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Mukrian news agency, Ahwaz news, RAHANA and Association for Defence of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in Iran (ADAPP).

    IHR has only included the cases that have been confirmed by two independent sources, in its annual report.

  6. #16
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    Oct 2010
    Iran sentences alcohol drinkers to death

    Iran is to execute two people caught drinking alcohol for a third time after judges upheld the Islamic republic's strict laws on liquor consumption, media on Monday quoted a top judicial official as saying.

    Hassan Shariati, the judiciary chief of the northeastern province of Khorasan-e Razavi, announced the sentence in an ISNA news agency report that was published by the Donya-e-Eqtesad daily.

    The two unidentified people were repeat offenders, having been twice before convicted of drinking and lashed 80 times each, Shariati said.

    He said the death penalty for their third conviction had been validated by Iran's Supreme Court.

    Under Iran's interpretation of Islamic sharia law, imposed after its 1979 revolution, a first and second conviction on the charge of drinking alcohol is punishable by a maximum sentence of 80 lashes.

    A third offence risks a death penalty but, if the convicted person repents, the sentence can be commuted to the whipping.

    Only members of Iran's Christian minorities are exempt from the alcohol laws.

    The last time execution was ordered for a repeat offender on the charge was in 2007, but it was overturned after the convict officially expressed contrition, the Shargh daily reported.

    Despite Iran's tough penalties, some 60 million to 80 million litres (16 million to 21 million gallons) of alcohol are smuggled into the country each year, of which police seize only around a quarter, according to officials.

    An officer at Iran's anti-smuggling bureau said in early 2011 that the value of liquor smuggled to Iran was around $730 million per annum. According to Iran's police chief, Esmaeel Ahmadi Moghadam, the country has about 200 000 alcoholics.

    Alcohol is also covertly manufactured in Iran, sometimes resulting in deaths due to the production methods used.

    Iranian police have also started taking measures against driving under the influence of alcohol, with offenders liable to a fine of two million rials (120 dollars), confiscation of their driving licence and criminal prosecution.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  7. #17
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    Oct 2010
    Iran protests execution of its own in Saudi Arabia

    On June 12 the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iran’s official media outlet, reported that Foreign Ministry officials in Tehran had summoned a Saudi diplomat to protest the reported execution of several Iranians for drug possession and trafficking. An Iranian official denounced the executions as “anti-humanitarian” and in conflict with Saudi Arabia’s “human rights standards” and the “principles of Islam,” IRNA reported.

    He also said that the Saudis’ alleged refusal to allow the accused to contact consular officials was a violation of Riyadh’s international obligations.

    On June 26, Iran upped the ante. The semi-official Fars News Agency reported that a diplomatic delegation to Saudi Arabia would raise the issue.

    The Iranian official has a point. Saudi Arabia has an atrocious rights record when it comes to handling drug offenses. Contrary to international law, Saudi law mandates the death penalty for selling illicit drugs, and the method of execution is usually beheading.

    Saudi authorities have also gravely violated the due process rights of those accused of drug crimes, including allegations of torture. Though the Iranian government has not published official statistics, reports estimate that Saudi authorities have executed up to 18 Iranian nationals on drug charges in Dammam prison in the past few months.

    Yet one has to wonder what was running through the Iranian official’s mind when he lodged the protest with the Saudis. In 2011, Iran executed at least 600 people, second only to China. Rights groups believe some 400 or so of those executions were for drug-related crimes, including personal use. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said in early 2011 that he believed “more than 80 percent” of all executions in Iran are for drug-related offenses.

    This would mean that in 2011, Iran executed for drug offenses more than four times the total number of people Saudi Arabia executed that year: at least 82, according to Amnesty International.

    Scores, maybe hundreds, of those Iran executed for drug-related crimes in 2011 and previous years are Afghan nationals who were convicted without access to lawyers or consular officials. Exact numbers are not available, but in 2010 Iranian authorities acknowledged that at least 4,000 Afghans were in Iranian prisons, and that the vast majority were there on drug charges. In April of that year hundreds of angry Afghans demonstrated in front of the Iranian embassy in Kabul after reports surfaced that Iranian prison officials might have executed dozens of Afghans, often in secret.

    Also in 2010, rights groups confirmed that Iranian authorities had executed at least two other foreigners, Paul Chindo from Nigeria and Aquasi Aquabe from Ghana, at the Vakilabad prison in the northeastern city of Mashhad without informing the proper consular officials. There is credible information that Aquabe and Chindo are among hundreds of people secretly hanged on drug charges at Vakilabad since 2010.

    Iran’s Draconian anti-narcotics law imposes the death penalty for manufacturing, trafficking, possession, or trade of 5 kilograms of opium and other specified drugs, and 30 grams of heroin, morphine, or specified synthetic and non-medical psychotropic drugs. There is little transparency in the prosecution of drug crimes as they are tried behind closed doors in revolutionary courts.

    Moreover, Iran’s anti-narcotics law bypasses a longstanding procedural law requiring all death sentences to be appealable to Iran’s Supreme Court and only requires the head of the Supreme Court or the Prosecutor General’s Office to affirm the lower courts’ execution sentences. In October 2010, Iran’s prosecutor general announced that his office would review some drug-related cases in the interest of fast-tracking these cases though the justice system, raising serious concerns regarding the defendants’ right to appeal and to a fair trial.

    Since then rights groups have documented cases in which the authorities have simply denied the right to appeal to people on death row for drug-related offenses. Several have been executed. Foreign nationals, especially poor refugees and unlawful migrants from Afghanistan, are at particular risk of being deprived of their right to a fair trial and ultimately executed.

    This all happens despite the fact that international laws to which Iran and Saudi Arabia are signatories require access to their consular officials and legal representation for foreign nationals accused of crimes. UN bodies, including the secretary-general’s office, have repeatedly expressed concern about the high level of executions for drug-related offenses, and encouraged Iranian authorities to abolish the death penalty or at least revise the penal code to restrict the death penalty to only the “most serious crimes.”

    The least Iranian officials can do is to give foreign nationals charged with drug crimes in Iran, not to mention their own citizens, the same rights they demand for Iranians abroad.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  8. #18
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    Oct 2010
    Iran: 17 executions in less than 2 weeks, 220 since beginning of the year

    On the verge of Ramadan (Muslims’ fasting month), the antihuman regime of mullahs, hanged another prisoner in Iranshahr (southeast Iran) on July 19. Mullahs’ justice department accused him of killing a commander of IRGC (Iran’s revolutionary guard). On the same day a female prisoner, 28, after being six years in Adel-abad jail, was hanged in Shiraz and a man was also hanged in public in Shiraz.

    Other prisoners who were executed include 8 prisoners in Qazvin including a father and his son (9- 17 July), 3 prisoners in Kerman (July 16), 2 prisoners in Zahedan’s central prison, and another prisoner in Baft-Kerman (July 8). As such, the number of executions since the beginning of the year has reached 220, at least.

    The mullahs’ regime’s resorting to this brutal punishment is in fact the reaction of a faltering regime incapable of confronting expanding public abhorrence and widespread domestic and international crises, particularly in a condition that Syrian dictator, as its foremost regional ally, is on the verge of overthrow.

    In regard to the rising number of executions, head of regime’s State Security Force said that soft attitude “does not mean to us to put aside batons and smile to the guilty. When a person is executed, it’s like a spoiled part of body that needs to be amputated.” (state media- July 14)

    Iranian Resistance calls on international authorities, particularly human rights bodies to take urgent and firm measure to stop brutal suppression, especially savage punishment of execution, in Iran.

    Source: Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, July 22, 2012
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  9. #19
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    Oct 2010
    Execution Date Has Been Set For Political Prisoner Gholamreza Khosravi

    Execution date of September 10, 2012 has been set for political prisoner Gholamreza Khosravi. Khosravi who was also a political prisoner in the 80′s has been in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention since 2006.

    Gholamreza Khosravi was arrested in 2006 on charges of donating money to an opposition satellite TV station. In 2007, he was tried in a court in Rafsanjan on charges of espionage and donating money to Mohahedin Khalgh Organization (MKO). He was sentenced to three years in prison plus three years suspended sentence.

    The Intelligence Ministry appealed Rajsanjan’s court ruling. The case went to Court of Appeals in Kerman which issued a six year prison sentence for Gholamreza Khosravi.

    Khosravi’s case entered a new phase with additional charges pressed by the Defense Ministry . After one year incarceration in the Intelligence Ministry’s solitary confinement, Khosravi was transferred to the Defense Ministry’s Prison No. 64.

    After a long period of interrogations, Khosravi was put on trial in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi, on Moharebeh charges (enmity against God).

    Judge Pirabbasi ruled this defendant’s charges beyond the scope of his court’s jurisdiction.

    The ruling issued by Branch 26 was overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was returned to the same court for retrial, which resulted in a death sentence issued in 2010.

    This last verdict was also overturned by the Supreme Court on technicality and was sent back to Branch 26 for retrial which ultimately resulted in a death sentence for the defendant in November of 2011.

    On April 21, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld Khosravi’s death sentence and forwarded the case to the Enforcement Division in Evin prison.

    In the last few days, Khosravi was summoned by Nasiri, the Assistant Prosecutor in Evin’s Enforcement Division and informed that his death sentence will be carried out on September 10.

    Gholamreza Khosravi a former political prisoner in the 80′s was incarcerated for five years at the time, on charges of supporting a banned opposition group.

    After about four years of incarceration in solitary confinement, in July of 2011, Khosravi was transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison, where he currently is imprisoned.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  10. #20
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    Oct 2010

    Iranian "Porn" App Programmer "Repents", Narrowly Avoids Death Sentence

    Canadian government is upset by "unfair" treatment of its resident

    Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian citizen residing in Canada, was given a rather stark reminder of the drastic differences between his home nation and his current working residence when he was arrested on a family visit.

    It turns out Mr. Malekpour had created an app for a client, which was later used to post pornographic images online, a serious violation of Islamic law. Somehow Iranian authorities caught wind of this and the nation's Revolutionary Guard -- the nation's Islamist military/police organization -- arrested Mr. Malekpour when he was visiting relatives in 2008.

    In 2010, he finally was tried before the nation's Revolutionary Court, a federal Islamist court. He was forbidden to defend himself. The court found him guilty and he was sentenced to death, in a decision harshly criticized by human rights advocates and Canada who complained that its former resident "failed to receive fair and transparent legal treatment."

    Amidst the sweeping internet revolution that has occurred in recent years, the Revolutionary Court has made a special point of widely advertising cases like Mr. Malekpour's to "warn" citizens not to disobey the nation's strict Islamic law online.

    But the accused has been spared of the most severe penalty -- death -- after making a plea where he "repented" for his actions. The decision to suspend the death sentence was announced on Eid al-Fitr, the day at the end of Ramadan where people of Muslim faith commit to charity and peacemaking. The holiday is known as a day on which Iran sometimes pardons prisoners.

    Mr. Malekpour's lawyer announced the pardon on Iran's Mehr news agency, commenting, "After the sentence was confirmed my client repented for his actions. With this repentance, the death sentence has been suspended."

    But the Revolutionary Court, according to Reuters, has not officially announced the suspension. And even if it is, such decisions have been reversed in the past says The Toronto Star. It points the case of Hamid Ghassemi-Shal, a Toronto shoe salesman who was accused of being a spy and sentenced to death. Mr. Ghassemi-Shal was similarly reported to be spared, but his family was recently informed that the death sentence had been reinstated. It is unknown if he has been executed, but in April 2012 his sister was told the execution was "imminent".

    The stories serve as a grim reminder that while Iran has advanced remarkably in terms of industry and technology, it remains very much entrenched in archaic and punitive legal traditions.

    Sources: Reuters [on the NYTimes], Toronto Star
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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