Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Recommendations on the Death Penalty

Iran UPR: Recommendations on the Death Penalty Might Have Higher Impact This Time

 On October 8, 2014,  Iran Human Rights (IHR) presented a statement on behalf of the World Coalition against the Death Penalty (WCADP) at the UPR pre-session organized by UPR Info in Geneva. IHR was one of the six NGOs selected to present at the UPR pre-session. The other NGOs were International Federations for the Human Rights (FIDH), Justice for Iran (JFI), Baha’i International Community (BIC), International Campaign for the Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) and Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC). Representatives for several countries and NGOs were present at the pre-session. 
UPR Info Pre-Session in Geneva- Photo by JFI
UPR Info Pre-Session in Geneva- Photo by JFI
Iran Human Rights, October 12, 2014: The pre-session was held about 3 weeks ahead of Iran’s second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled to take place on October 31. The UPR is a mechanism of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) that  periodically examines the human rights performance of all 193 UN Member States. It is intended to complement, not duplicate, the work of other human rights mechanisms, including the UN human rights treaty bodies. This is the first international human rights mechanism to address all countries and all human rights.

At its last Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council in 2010, Iran received 29 recommendations on the death penalty from 23 different states; it accepted only three. Moreover, the recommendations on the death penalty represented 23 percent of those made to Iran – a number only surpassed by recommendations made regarding cooperation with international instruments and the elimination of torture and other forms of ill treatment.
Right to left: Dr. Karim Lahidji (FIDH), Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam (IHR, WCADP) and Omid Memarian (ICHRI)
Left to right: Dr. Karim Lahidji (FIDH), Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam (IHR and WCADP) and Omid Memarian (ICHRI)- Photo by: JFI

In the statement the IHR spokesperson Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam emphasized that due to establishment of abolitionist campaigns and increasing discourse on the death penalty within the Iranian society, recommendations  this time might have a greater impact. The statement included recommendations on all aspects of the death penalty, in particular several specific recommendations about public executions, death sentence for drug-related charges and death penalty to the juvenile offenders.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Five Prisoners Executed in Iran

Iran Human Rights, September 24, 2014:  Five prisoners were hanged in three different Iranian cities, reported Iranian state media.
According to the state run Iranian news agency Fars, one man was hanged in the prison of Noshahr (Northern Iran) early this morning Wednesday September 24. The prisoner who was identified as “Jaber N.” was convicted of a murder in 2004. His age at the time of committing the alleged offence wasn’t mentioned in the report.
Two other prisoners convicted of drug-related charges were hanged in the prison of Qazvin (west of Iran) early this morning reported  Fars news agenImage-Rasht-excy. The prisoners were identified as “Sadegh Mohammadkhanloo” (33) charged with trafficking of 995 grams of the narcotic substance Crystal, and “Asghar Mahtabi” (35)  charged with possession and trafficking of one kilogram of crack and 200 grams of crystal, said the report.

Two other men, convicted of murder were hanged in the prison of Mashhad (Northeastern Iran). One of the prisoners was an 18 year old boy sentenced to death for murdering another man in 2009. It is not clear whether the prisoner was 18 at the time of committing the alleged offence  or 18 year was his age at the time of execution.  The other prisoner hanged in Mashhad was 27 year old and convicted of a murder in 2010. None of the prisoners were identified by name. The executions were carried early morning Sunday September 21.
Iran Human Rights is investigating whether one of the prisoners executed in Mashhad on Sunday was under 18 at the time of committing the alleged offence.

Iranian Authorities React on Mohsen Amir Aslani’s Execution

Iranian Authorities React to the Reports About Mohsen Amir Aslani’s Execution This Morning

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported today that Mohsen Amir Aslani was executed convicted of “Corruption on earth” and heresy. Iranian authorities have now reacted to this report. mohsen-amiraslani1
Iran Human Rights, September 24, 2014: A high ranking Iranian Judiciary official confirmed today execution of Mr. Mohsen Amir Aslani (37) in Rajaishahr prison of Karaj this morning. Gholamhossein Esmaeili, the Judiciary official, told Mizannews that Mohsen Amir Aslani was executed convicted of rape. He denied that Mr. Aslani’s death sentence was related to his other charges.
Base on the information Iran Human Rights (IHR) has access to Mr. Amir Aslani had in March 2007 been charged with among others  heresy, insulting Prophet Jonah and immoral acts. In March 2007 he was sentenced by sentenced by a the section 31 of Tehran’s Court of Appeal to imprisonment, lashes and economic fines. But later he was charges with “corruption on the earth” for the same charges in addition to charges of rape. According to IHR’s information, Mr. Amir Aslani never confessed to the rape charges and there was not sufficient evidence supporting these charges. IHR calls for  an independent investigation of Mr. Mohsen Amir Aslani’s case.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Four Prisoners Executed for Drug

Four Prisoners Executed for Drug-Related Charges in Southern Iran

Iran Human Rights, September 22, 2014: Four prisoners were hanged in the prison of Bandar Abbas (southern Iran) Thursday morning September 18, reported the official website of the Iranian Judiciary in Hormozgan Province.edam-isca
According to the report the prisoners were identified as “F.M.” and “A.R.” charged with participation in possession and trafficking of 970 grams of heroin, “H.R.” for participation in trafficking of 582 kilograms and 350 grams of opium and “A.N.” for possession and trafficking of 1460 grams of heroin. All the prisoners had been sentenced to death by the section 3 of Bandar Abbas Revolution Court. The executions were carried out at the Central prison of Bandar Abbas, said the report.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Five Public Executions This Morning in Iran

The execution wave continues in Iran. According to the official and unofficial reports, in the last 30 days at least 95 people have been executed in different Iranian cities. This is an average of more than 3 executions everyday. Iran Human Rights urges the international community to condemn the execution wave in Iran.
Iran Human Rights, September 18, 2014: Five people were hanged publicly in the cities of Shiraz and Marvdasht (Province of Fars, Southern Iran) early Thursday morning September 18., reported the Iranian state media.

According to the Young Journalists Club (YJC), a news website close to the Iranian security forces, four of the men were hanged in the “Azadi (Liberty) Square” of Shiraz. These men were identified as: “Bahram”, “Edalat” and “Mohammad”  charged with kidnapping and rape, and “Jahanbakhsh B.” charged with “corruption on the earth” and armed robbery.
One man identified as “Hossein Sh.” was hanged publicly in Marvdasht. He was charged with “Corruption on earth” and armed robbery, said the report.
Pictures of the public executions in Shiraz shows children watching the executions.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Imprisoned Student Denied Medical Treatment despite Severe Illness

Omid Kokabi, an exceptional student serving a 10-year sentence, has not been allowed medical treatment outside Evin Prison despite his worsening kidney stone condition and stomach ailment, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Kokabi, 33, who has not been allowed furlough once in the four years since his incarceration (a customary practice in Iran but routinely denied to political prisoners), was among the country’s top students. He was studying post-doctoral Nuclear Physics at the University of Texas at Austin at the time of his arrest at Tehran’s International Airport as he was about to leave the country on January 30, 2011, after visiting family in Iran.
He was kept in solitary confinement for over a month during his 15-month pre-trial detention. On May 14, 2012, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Salavati for “contact with enemy states” and other falsified charges.
“Omid has been suffering from kidney stones and stomach problems for a long time. His teeth are hurting, too. But even though doctors at the prison clinic have confirmed his need for treatment outside the prison, and despite many requests by Omid, so far there has been no approval for his transfer and his condition in the prison quarantine has worsened,” the source told the Campaign.
The denial of medical treatment, especially in the case of political prisoners, is endemic throughout the Iranian judicial system, even in cases where treatment is needed for life-threatening illness or injuries.
The source described Evin Prison’s quarantine, where many political prisoners from Ward 350 have been transferred to since August 12, as a basement without windows or proper ventilation. It has four rooms with a total of 100 prisoners and only four small toilets and showers. There is no space to walk or exercise.
“Because of lack of proper ventilation and sanitation, there are lots of insects there and many of the prisoners have developed skin problems. Cultural and physical activities are banned, but even if they were allowed, there’s no space for them. Despite all these difficulties, Omid studies and teaches other prisoners, too,” the source added.
Before his trial, Kokabi wrote a letter from detention to the Head of the Judiciary, criticizing his illegal arrest, mistreatment during interrogation, 36 days of solitary confinement, and forced confession.
“Interrogators would take and read every line I wrote. Many times they would angrily yell at me and tell me to write down what they told me and I’m very sorry I did so,” he wrote. Forced confessions, often under torture or threat of harm, is a routine practice in Iran. Such confessions are typically then broadcast on state TV  and used to obtain convictions.

Friday, 12 September 2014

One Woman and One Man Hanged in Northern Iran for Drug-Related Charges

Iran Human Rights, September 11, 2014: A 60 year old woman and a 31 year old man were hanged in the prison of Rasht (Northern Iran) early Thursday morning (September 11), reported the Iranian state media.women
According to the Iranian State Broadcasting IRIB the 31 year old man was charged with possession and trafficking of 4100 grams of the narcotic drug crystal , and the woman was charged with participation in buying, possession, trafficking and distribution of 3198 grams of heroin.
None of the prisoners were identified by name.
In Iran, the drug convicts are tried by the Revolution Courts behind the closed doors. There are many reports of unfair trials and forced confessions which are used as the basis of many death sentences issued by the Revolution Courts in Iran.