Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Alarming execution rate in Iran

Amnesty International fears for the lives of a number of political prisoners in Iran following the execution of a political prisoner on 7 February. The organisation has also expressed outrage that Iran continues to sentence child offenders to death, a violation of its international human rights obligations.

Amnesty International said executions in Iran have been carried out at an "alarming rate", with 94 executions recorded in 2005. It said the true figure is likely to be much higher. In the first two months of 2006, it recorded a staggering 28 executions, the majority sentenced for crimes such as murder. They also included the execution of political prisoner, Hojjat Zamani, a member of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), who was convicted of involvement in a 1988 bombing in Tehran in which 3 people died.

The organisation quoted unconfirmed reports that "a number of political and other prisoners who are under sentence of death have been told by prison officials that they would be executed if Iran should be referred to the UN Security Council over the resumption of its nuclear programme".

At least 18 child offenders have also been executed in Iran since 1990, at least 8 in 2005 alone. According to Amnesty International, the Iran Students Correspondents Asscociation (ISCA) reported comments from Ahmad Mozaffari, a Tehran Appeal Court judge, saying Iran would continue to sentence child offenders to death "without considering other options".

Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and it has given undertakings that it will not execute anyone for an offence committed when they were under the age of 18.

1 comment:

PersianCowboy said...

I just heard that former Iranian president is campaigning against the death penalty in all cases. I think this is a really good news. Hopefully that would start the debate again.