On Thursday 23 April, a group of nine men were hanged in Iran including a 70-year-old who had been held in prison for the past fourteen years. The hangings took place at the main prison in the city of Bandar Abbas in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The local judiciary office confirmed the executions but did not identify victims. Human rights activists reported that Heydar Mardani, 70, was among the executed prisoners. He was serving his 14th year of incarceration.
The other victims have been identified as Hossein AliKhah, Ahmad Qurashi, Farhad Kianian, Mohamad Ahmadi, Mehrdad Azmand, Qassem Maziar, Heydar Moridani and Mohamad Naroui. The youngest victim was 25 years old.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of executions in Iran. In the period between 12 to 18 April at least 81 prisoners were hanged in Iranian prisons; an average of 12 executions per day.
The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.
We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;
1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.