Executions of Sunni preachers, activists continue in Iran

Executions of Sunni preachers, activists continue in Iran

Published by on January 5, 2016

20161418118974671721_An-Iranian-exile-shouts-slogans-to-protest-against-Staff writer, Al Arabiya News, 3 January 2016 – International human rights groups believe that Iran executed over 1,000 people last year – well above the 2014 tally – including preachers and activists from the Islamic Republic’s Sunni minority.

Reports indicate that Iranian authorities put to death more than 753 people in the first half of 2015 – an average of four executions a day.
Amnesty International stated in July that “executions in Iran could top one thousand in 2015.”
The London-based rights group added that Iranian authorities only reveal a certain number of judicial executions, while the real number of those executed far exceeds the official count.
Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran, stated in late October that Iran had put to death a “shocking” 753 people during 2014.
“Iran continues to execute more individuals per capita than any other country in the world,” he added.
Amnesty, meanwhile, put the figure at 649.

“Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale,” an Amnesty official said at the time.

Executions in Iran increased since Hassan Rowhani took office in August 2013.

Turkish news agency Anadolu reported rights groups as saying last month that the Supreme Court in Tehran ratified the executions of 27 Sunni preachers and sheikhs, having accused them of insurrection.

In October, Iran confirmed it had handed a death sentence to a Sunni cleric, Shahram Ahadi, who had been arrested in 2009. In 2012, his younger brother, Bahram Ahmadi, was executed, along with five other Sunni preachers.

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

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.

Executions must stop.

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