THE HAIPHONG POST - Breaking News of World: Iran

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Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Iran: A prisoner hanged, 3 dozen death verdicts issued in run-up to elections

The Iranian regime's henchmen in the main prison of the northern city of Gorgan secretly hanged a 52-year-old man who had been arrested on drug-related charges.

The Iranian regime's judiciary has recently confirmed death sentences for at least 40 prisoners that are being held in Gezel-Hessar Prison in Karaj, north-west of Tehran. Most of the prisoners had asked for their cases to be reviewed but their death sentence were confirmed within 1-2 days and they were informed of the final verdicts on Sunday.

In the run-up to the sham elections in Iran, Iran's clerical regime has intensified issuing death sentences, handing down long prison terms and carrying out cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments in public.

Amnesty International said in its yearly report on violations of human rights in Iran: "The authorities continued to use the death penalty extensively, and carried out numerous executions, including of juvenile offenders. Some executions were conducted in public."

"Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained common and was committed with impunity; prison conditions were harsh. Unfair trials continued, in some cases resulting in death sentences."

"Women and members of ethnic and religious minorities faced pervasive discrimination in law and in practice. The authorities carried out cruel punishments, including blinding, amputation and floggings. Courts imposed death sentences for a range of crimes; many prisoners, including at least 4 juvenile offenders, were executed."

"Courts continued to impose, and the authorities continued to carry out, punishments that violate the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. These were sometimes carried out in public and included flogging, blinding and amputations. On 3 March the authorities in Karaj deliberately blinded a man in his left eye after a court sentenced him to 'retribution-in-kind' (qesas) for throwing acid into the face of another man. He also faced blinding of his right eye."

Source: NCRI, Feb. 26, 2016

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Iran Supreme Court Confirms Death Sentence Of Juvenile Offender

Iran does execute juvenile offenders
Iran does execute juvenile offenders
The death sentence of Himan Ouraminejad who was charged with murder as a juvenile, has been confirmed in the Supreme Court and is waiting for the permission of head of judiciary to be executed.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), Himan Ouraminejad is charged with the murder of another juvenile in a fight in Sanandaj.

Himan Ouraminejad is born in 1994 and by the time that he committed the crime in 2010, he was under 18.

According to article 91 of the Islamic Penal Code, when the individual is under 18 or do not understand the nature of the crime, or the growth of their brain could be questioned, the death retribution will not be applied.

According to an informed source, the forensic has just asked him few questions and the actual scientific tests were not carried out about Himan Ouraminejad.

The death sentence of this juvenile offenders will be executed after the permission of the head of judiciary and the refusal of consent by the victim's family.

Himan Ouraminejad is currently being kept in Sanandaj prison.

Source: Human Rights Activists News Agency, Feb. 20, 2016

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Iran defends its capital punishment in Europe

Public hanging in Iran, a medieval and barbaric punishment
Iran, faith-based medieval and barbaric punishments
Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, his country's Iran's capital punishment law at the European parliament on Tuesday, saying Iran mostly executes drug smugglers.

The remarks came in Brussels when lawmakers criticized the increasing number of death sentences in Iran.

Zarif also blamed Europe for their "lack of support" to help Iran control the flow of drugs to European countries.

"The European Union has accused Iran of human rights violations and banned the export of technical tools that would be used to combat the drug trade," Zarif told European lawmakers, according to BBC Persian.

The number of executions in Iran has sharply increased in recent years. At least 687 people were put to death in 2013, compared to 99 people in 2004.

Human rights activists worry that the nuclear deal with Iran and the country's increasing economic and trade relations with Europe may take the spotlight off its human rights record.

In a report in late 2015 the UN General Assembly condemned the human rights situation in Iran.

The report indicated that execution rates in Iran have rapidly increased and that 694 people were executed in Iran in 2015.

This is the highest number of executions in the country since the Iran-Iraq War, Ahmed Shaheed, the special UN rapporteur for human rights in Iran, told Rudaw at that time.

Source: rudaw.net, Feb. 18, 2016

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Infographic: Capital Punishment in Iran - 2015

IHRDC's final update of its chart of executions carried out by the Iranian government in 2015 counts 966 executions, an increase of nearly 34% from the previous year. 

The infographic highlights some of the details behind these numbers, including the charges leading to the death sentences of the individuals in question, the 8 top cities for executions in the last year, and trends in overall executions and the executions of juvenile offenders over the last year. 

Iran has led the world in executions per capita for years.

Among these 966 executions, 625 - nearly 2/3 - arose from drug trafficking charges. This represents a rise of over 75% in executions for this charge over the previous year. 

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) establishes that the death penalty may only be used for "the most serious crimes", and international legal experts have long averred that drug-related offenses do not fit in this category. 

Iranian law envisions the use of capital punishment for a wide variety of crimes, including armed robbery, drug trafficking, fraud, and sodomy.

These executions took place in a highly problematic judicial context. 

There have been hundreds of reports of violations of due process in Iran in recent years, including the denial of access to counsel, the denial of the right to be heard by a fair, independent, and impartial judicial body, and a routine reliance on confessions extracted under physical and psychological duress as primary forms of evidence in capital cases.


Source: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Feb. 13, 2016

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

No one should be executed for drug offenses

Even as some countries liberalize their drug laws, others like Indonesia are brutally cracking down

The use of society's ultimate sanction, the death penalty, has been declining around the world for decades. In 1977, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty; by 2015, 140 had either abolished it or for all practical purposes abandoned it. 19 American states and the District of Columbia have no death penalty, and in 2014, executions were carried out in only 7 states.

However, over the same period, the number of countries applying the death penalty for drugs offenses has increased. In 1979 there were 10 countries that executed drug offenders. By 1985, that number had increased to 22; by 2000, to 36 (although it declined to 33 in 2012). Some years have seen as many as 1,000 drug-related executions, many of them in Iran, Singapore and China, where precise figures are unavailable. Thousands of individuals are on death row in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa for drug offenses.

Indonesia offers a particularly gruesome example. In 2015, 14 prisoners there, mostly foreign nationals, were killed by firing squad.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo took office in October 2014. He immediately declared that the country was facing a "drug emergency situation," thus justifying the decision to carry out the executions in the face of concerted international pressure - notably from Australia, 2 of whose citizens were executed last year. He zealously pursued the death sentences, saying he would reject any appeal for clemency. According to Amnesty International, Indonesia held at least 121 people on death row in 2015, 54 of them for drug offenses.

As part of its intensified war on drugs, Indonesia has targeted drug users. The National Narcotics Agency recently revived compulsory treatment, pledging to place 100,000 drug users in treatment or rehabilitation centers last year. This month the new narcotics board chief, Budi Waseso, created an international furor by calling for a prison island for drug smugglers, surrounded by crocodiles and piranhas. He also called for the reinstatement of the late Indonesian dictator Suharto's infamous program in which elite military personnel were authorized to conduct extrajudicial public killings of anyone the regime considered criminal. A week ago, police raids on drug-use hotspots in Jakarta and Medan left at least 4 people dead - 2 of them police officers.

One person executed in Indonesia last year was Brazilian citizen Rodrigo Gularte, who was caught with 2 friends trying to take cocaine hidden in surfboards into the country in 2004. He took responsibility for the seized drugs, allowing his companions to be released. He accepted a state-appointed lawyer and never received competent legal representation at trial. His first lawyer acknowledged that he used drugs. Today that might be accepted as a mitigating factor, but at the time, it merely helped the prosecution make its case and secure the death sentence.

Rodrigo Gularte
Rodrigo Gularte
The mitigating factor that should have protected him from the firing squad is that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager. He was often impulsive, which likely explains how he came to be smuggling drugs. In prison, his condition worsened, and he attempted suicide. Eventually he was further diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia accompanied by delusions and hallucinations. It was widely reported that he understood he was going to be killed only as he was being led to the site of the execution.

After Indonesia denied requests for Gularte to be transferred to a mental health facility in 2014, his cousin Angelita Muxfedlt went to Jakarta and appointed my office as his legal representative, together with other prominent legal and human rights groups. He was convicted despite the suspicious release of his co-defendants, despite his incompetent counsel and despite international outrage, especially from Brazil, where the last state execution took place in 1876. Even the diagnosis of his severe mental illness was not enough to earn him a reprieve.

Indonesia clearly violated international law by executing a prisoner with mental health issues. He should have received treatment for his multiple illnesses. Instead, in a stunning act of retribution, the state put him to death.

He can be considered a victim of the global war on drugs. But the punitive drug control regime that was built on international agreements like the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is coming under increasing pressure. In 2014, for example, the International Narcotics Control Board urged governments to abolish the death penalty.

There is growing recognition that sentencing someone to death for a drug offense is a violation of basic human rights. Around the world, the vast majority of death row prisoners are poor and often poorly educated or incapable of comprehending what they were getting involved in, like Gularte. They are often badly advised, living or dying on the whim of a capricious legal system.

As some countries relax their regulations against the recreational use of drugs like marijuana, the inconsistency across international jurisdictions is thrown into sharp focus. In at least 12 countries, some offenses related to marijuana and hashish are punishable by death. 

In Malaysia in 2010, the majority of those sentenced to death for drug-related crimes were convicted of marijuana or hashish offenses. While some countries look to alternative methods of managing drugs, including decriminalization, others continue to punish similar activities by execution.

There is no evidence that the death penalty works as a deterrent, which is the reason most often cited for its continued use. People are still taking drugs into Indonesia, and heroin seizures have not stopped in Iran.

This year's United Nations special session on drugs should include discussion of the death penalty. The world must consign the death penalty to history, where it belongs.

Source: Aljazeera, Feb. 1, 2016. Ricky Gunawan is a human rights lawyer in Indonesia. He is the director of LBH Masyarakat (Community Legal Aid Institute), which is based in Jakarta and provides free legal services for poor people, marginalized groups and victims of human rights abuses, including people who use drugs and people facing the death penalty; Claudia Stoicescu is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford's department of social policy and intervention.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

“THE SMILING FACE OF THE MULLAHS”: Hands Off Cain report on the Death Penalty in Iran

Rouhani: The Smiling Face of the Mullahs
The Smiling Face of the Mullahs
In view of the visit to Italy by President Hassan Rouhani, scheduled for the 25th and 26th of January, Hands Off Cain presented the Report on the Death Penalty in Iran entitled “The Smiling Face of the Mullahs”.

The Report lists the executions carried out in Iran in 2015 and in first two weeks of 2016 and provides a comprehensive view of capital punishment under Hassan Rouhani's Presidency.

The report also represents a “reminder” for the Italian State's highest authorities to bring the question of the death penalty and the respect of human rights to the center of every meeting and understanding with the representatives of the regime in Tehran.

According to the report, in 2015 the regime in Tehran carried out at least 980 executions, a 22.5% increase compared to 800 in 2014 and a 42.6% increase compared to 687 in 2013.

This is the number of executions among the highest in the recent history of Iran, which classifies it as the top “Executioner-Country” in the world in relation to population. At least 370 execution cases (37.7%) were reported by official Iranian sources (websites of the Iranian Judiciary, national Iranian broadcasting network, and official or state-run news agencies and newspapers); 610 cases (62.3%) included in the annual numbers were reported by unofficial sources (other human rights NGOs or sources inside Iran).

The actual number of executions is probably much higher than the figures included in the Report of Hands Off Cain. Excerpt:


“THE SMILING FACE OF THE MULLAHS”
Report on the Death Penalty in Iran

In view of the visit to Italy by President Hassan Rouhani, scheduled for the 25th and 26th of January, Hands Off Cain presents the Report on the Death Penalty in Iran entitled “The Smiling Face of the Mullahs”.
The Report lists the executions carried out in Iran in 2015 and in first two weeks of 2016 and provides a comprehensive view of capital punishment under Rouhani's Presidency.
The report also represents a “reminder” for the Italian State's highest authorities to bring the question of the death penalty and the respect of human rights to the center of every meeting and understanding with the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
www.handsoffcain.info info@nessunotocchicaino.it e.zamparutti@radicali.it

Reminder for the Italian Authorities
The election of Hassan Rouhani in June of 2013 was greeted by everyone (almost) as a turnabout and, from that time, the new President of the Islamic Republic was defined as the “reformer”, the “moderate”, the “happy and smiling face” of the Mullah’s regime.
This Report by Hands Off Cain speaks of a different reality, in which the hanging of ethnic and religious minorities and of political opposition for non-violent crimes or those of an essentially political nature, have continued in the in the Islamic Republic led by Hassan Rouhani.
These executions are the latest chapter in a story that began in the summer of 1988 when, following a fatwa issued by Ruhollah Khomeini, more than 30,000 political prisoners, the overwhelming majority of them activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were hanged for being “enemies of Allah”.
While many organizations for the defence of human rights have called it a crime against humanity, many of those responsible for the massacre are now part of the leadership of the regime, including Mostafa Poor Mohammadi and Seyed Ebrahim Reisi – two of the five members of the “Amnesty Commission” that Khomeini had assigned for prisons and that proved to be a “Death Commission” – who have become today, respectively, Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General of the Islamic Republic.
The alarming use of the death penalty, applied to minors in open violation of international accords and conventions ratified by Iran, the discrimination against religious minorities, particularly the Baha’i and Christians, the legal discrimination against women and the persecution of sexual minorities, the destruction of the State of Israel and the negation of the Holocaust, promoted, above all, by the Supreme Guide Khamenei continue to define the Mullah’s Regime regardless of the so-called “moderate” and “smiling” Presidency of Rouhani.
In the name of peace and international security – against the threat of nuclear war and terrorism – Iran regards itself as a “stabilizing force” in the Middle East and beyond, entrusted to an emergency government that created the emergency itself while undermining peace and international security.
It would be reasonable that the primary source of the problem become its primary solution. Yet, the most grievous matter here is how a regime has received international legitimacy while internally conducting an ongoing war and daily reign of terror and insecurity against its own people.
What described above should be a reminder for the Italian authorities, who on 25 and 26 January will receive President Hassan Rouhani who chose Rome as the first European capital to visit, identifying Italy as the “front door” towards the West.
We urge the highest representatives of Italy, a country recognized in the world as the champion of the international struggle to promote a universal moratorium on executions, and for the establishment of the International Criminal Court, to put the issue of the death penalty, and more generally of the respect of human rights at the center of every meeting and agreement with representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran, starting from those with President Rouhani.
At least 2.277 Executions under Rouhani’s Presidency
The election of Hassan Rouhani as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 14 June 2013, has led many observers, some human rights defenders and the international community, to be optimistic. However, the new Government has not changed its approach regarding the application of the death penalty, and indeed, the rate of executions has risen sharply since the summer of 2013.
Since the beginning of Rouhani’s presidency, as of 15 January 2016, at least 2,277 people have been executed in Iran. In 2015 the Islamic Republic carried out at least 980 executions, a 22.5% increase compared to 800 in 2014 and a 42.6% increase compared to 687 in 2013.
This is the number of executions among the highest in the recent history of Iran, which classifies it as the top “Executioner-Country” in the world in relation to population.
At least 370 execution cases (37.7%) were reported by official Iranian sources (websites of the Iranian Judiciary, national Iranian broadcasting network, and official or state-run news agencies and newspapers); 610 cases (62.3%) included in the annual numbers were reported by unofficial sources (other human rights NGOs or sources inside Iran).
The actual number of executions is probably much higher than the figures included in the Report of Hands Off Cain.
A majority of those who were executed were convicted of drug-related offences (632 cases, 178 of them reported by official Iranian sources), followed by murder (201 cases, including 122 announced by official sources), rape (56 cases, of which 50 announced by official media), political offences (16 cases, including 5 officially reported), and Moharebeh (waging war against God), armed robbery and “corruption on earth” (22 cases, including 15 officially reported).
In at least 53 other cases, the crimes for which the convicts were found guilty remained unspecified.
At least 53 people were executed in the first two weeks of 2016.
Hanging is the preferred method with which to apply Sharia law, but in April 2013 Iran reinserted execution by stoning for those convicted of adultery into a previous version of the new Penal Code that had omitted it.
Public executions by hanging continued into 2015, when at least 58 people were hanged in public.
In 2015, executions of women have slightly decreased: there were at least 15, including a juvenile offender ((8 for drug-related crimes, 2 for murder and 5 for unspecified crimes), but only 2 were announced by Iranian authorities.
In 2014, Iran had hanged at least 36 women.
Executions of child offenders continued into 2015, in open violation of two international treaties to which it is party, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
At least 6 juvenile offenders were hanged in 2015, including one woman (5 for murder cases, including 3 reported by official sources; and 1 for rape, reported by official sources). Another possible minor offender was executed 2016, as of 20 January. 
Read the full report here (PDF)

Sources: NCRI, Hands Off Cain, January 26, 2016

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Concerns over Iran executions surge as Rouhani visits Europe

Concerns have been raised that new cooperation agreements between Europe and Iran could contribute to a surge in drug-related executions - including of juvenile offenders. 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is in Italy for talks today, before travelling to France tomorrow, in the first European state visit by an Iranian President for more than 16 years. Iranian media have reported that “Iranian officials accompanying the president will sign agreements for the expansion of relations in different fields.”

The EU recently helped negotiate a $20 million UN funding deal for counter-narcotics efforts in Iran that will increase the international funding available to the country’s Anti-Narcotics Police. Human rights organization Reprieve has previously raised concerns that similar UN programmes in Iran have led to arrests and executions, including of juveniles. They include Jannat Mir, who was arrested by Iranian drug police at the age of 15 and subsequently hanged for narcotics offences.

Iran’s authorities have recently executed large numbers of people convicted of drugs offences; 600 of 947 hangings in Iran in 2015 were drug-related, as were 31 of 47 executions carried out so far in 2016.

Rouhani’s visit is taking place as an Amnesty International report showed that Iran has continued to convict and execute juveniles since 2005, in violation of its international obligations. The report notes that at least one juvenile offender, Mohammed Ali Zehi, is currently awaiting execution for narcotics offences.

Today’s visit also follows the news that British Prime Minister David Cameron recently held a phone call with President Rouhani, as a step towards normalising ties with Iran. Britain’s government, while not a funder of Iran programmes, is a donor to UNODC.

Commenting, Maya Foa, head of the death penalty team at human rights organization Reprieve, said: “Iran’s government is overseeing a horrifying surge in executions, the vast majority for drugs offences. Against this backdrop, it is deeply worrying to see European countries like France lining up to support a vast package of support for Iran’s drug police. It is vital that European countries use their growing ties with President Rouhani’s government – including these donations – to urge an end to the use of the death penalty for drugs offences.”
  • Detail on the recently-signed UNODC agreement with Iran is available here.
  • Reprieve's research on European support for counter-narcotics programmes in Iran and Pakistan is available here, while more recent detail on the European Union's donations to UNODC is here.
  • An Iranian state media report on President Rouhani's visit can be seen here.
Source: Reprieve, January 26, 2016

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