Iran's "Dehumanizing" Execution Machine

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“Given the lack of transparency in court proceedings, major concerns remain about due process and fairness of trials in cases involving the death penalty in Iran,” said the three UN Special Rapporteurs – Ahmed Shaheed,(UN Middle Photo), Christof Heyns and Juan E. Méndez – who deal with Iran, summary executions and torture, respectively. “Executions in public add to the already cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty and can only have a dehumanizing effect on the victim and a brutalizing effect on those who witness the execution."

 

Urging Halt/Moratorium on Executions:

The three UN Human Rights Experts cast doubt upon the due process and human rights aspects of the death penalty in Iran from “trial” to execution. They voiced regret that the authorities continue to apply the death penalty with alarming frequency, despite numerous calls to the Government to establish a moratorium on executions.” Read our Blog for Film: “Iran Human Rights & Death Penalty Rebuked”.

 

Arbitrary Executions”

“Under international law, the death penalty is the most extreme form of punishment, which, if it is used at all, should be imposed only for the most serious crimes. Defendants in death penalty cases should also receive fair trial guarantees stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Iran in 1975. Any death sentence undertaken in contravention of those international obligations is tantamount to an arbitrary execution,” stressed the three experts. Read our Blog for Film: “UN Human Rights Committee Critical of Iran”.

 

Not Evident What Crime in Iran Deserves Execution:

Abdul Rahman Heidarian, Abbas Heidarian, Taha Heidarian – who are brothers – and Ali Sharif were reportedly arrested in April 2011 during a protest in the province of Khuzestan and convicted of Moharebeh (enmity against God) and Fasad-fil Arz (corruption on earth) - they were sentenced to death and executed on or around 19 June in Karoun Prison, in the province’s capital, Ahwaz.

 

Continued Executions Despite Promises:

The rights experts noted with concern the high numbers of executions carried out in public – at least 25 this year alone – despite a circular issued in January 2008 by the Iranian Chief Justice banning the practice.  According to the Experts: At least 140 executions are known to have been carried out since the beginning of 2012, with some sources indicating the figure to be as high as 220. The majority of these are for drug-related offences, which the experts do not believe constitute the “most serious crimes” as required by international law. READ Blog for VideoIran’s Judiciary/Legal Code Contravenes International Commitments”.

 

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Bottom Photo: Courtesy DeathPenalty.BlogSpot.com

 

UN Human Rights Experts STATEMENT:

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Mr. Shaheed; the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Heyns; and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Mr. Méndez all serve in an independent and unpaid capacity.

They report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which appoints experts to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme.

Three United Nations Special Rapporteurs* on Iran, summary executions and torture condemned the recent execution of four members of the Ahwazi Arab minority in Ahwaz’s Karoun Prison in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following a reportedly unfair trial, they were sentenced to death and executed on or around 19 June 2012.

“Given the lack of transparency in court proceedings, major concerns remain about due process and fairness of trials in cases involving the death penalty in Iran,” said the independent human rights experts, recalling the execution of Abdul Rahman Heidarian, Abbas Heidarian, Taha Heidarian and Ali Sharif. The four men, three of whom are brothers, were reportedly arrested in April 2011 during a protest in Khuzestan and convicted of Moharebeh (enmity against God) and Fasad-fil Arz (corruption on earth).

“Under international law, the death penalty is the most extreme form of punishment, which, if it is used at all, should be imposed only for the most serious crimes,” they said. “Defendants in death penalty cases should also receive fair trial guarantees stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Iran in 1975.”

“Any death sentence undertaken in contravention of those international obligations is tantamount to an arbitrary execution,” the three UN Special Rapporteurs stressed.

The rights experts noted with concern the high numbers of executions carried out in public, despite a circular issued in January 2008 by the Iranian Chief Justice that banned public executions. At least 25 executions have been carried out in public this year.

“Executions in public add to the already cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty and can only have a dehumanizing effect on the victim and a brutalizing effect on those who witness the execution,” the independent experts underscored.

The Special Rapporteurs regretted that the authorities continue to apply the death penalty with alarming frequency, despite numerous calls to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to establish a moratorium on executions. At least 140 executions are known to have been carried out since the beginning of 2012, with some sources indicating the figure to be as high as 220. The majority of these are for drug-related offences, which the experts do not believe constitute the "most serious crimes" as required by international law.

The UN independent experts urged the Iranian authorities “to halt immediately the imposition of the death penalty for crimes which do not constitute the most serious crimes, as well as ensure stringent respect for fair trial guarantees.”

(*) The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed; the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns; and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez.



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DiplomaticallyIncorrect

"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect (diplomaticallyincorrect.org) provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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