Very little is known about this 37-year-old man, Alireza M., who was hanged last week in the town of Bojnord in Khorasan Province and miraculously survived, except that he has two daughters and was sentenced to death three years ago for carrying (not selling) 1 kg of Cristal.
World Day Against the Death Penalty is not just a symbolic date. Every year, more countries acknowledge the cruel, inhuman, and degrading nature of capital punishment.
Iran, however, remains among the world’s top executioners, regardless of the new political landscape and presidential promises of moderation and respect of citizenship rights.
So far, in 2013, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation has collected reports of more than 500 executions, and the real number may be higher. In other words, every day in 2013 at least two individuals have been killed, many on drug-related charges. During the week of September 23rd, when President Rouhani was making headlines in New York, more than 30 people were reportedly executed. As far as it is reported in the news, the victims are, for the most part but not only, alleged drug offenders, many with minor possession charges.
Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
Too few are alarmed by President Rouhani's choice of ministers with strong intelligence backgrounds, including Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, the proposed Minister of Justice. Well-documented reports, including an investigation by a respected international human rights expert, Geoffrey Robertson, accuse Pour-Mohammadi of crimes against humanity. A glance at his biography validates the concerns of the human rights community, an apprehension that doesn't seem to affect the policy world.
A former revolutionary prosecutor in Khuzestan, Khorasan, and Hormozgan in the period 1980-1987, the deadliest post-revolutionary years, he was promoted to be high ranking official in the Ministry of Information in the late 1980s. He represented the Ministry in a three-man delegation, known as the Death Committee, that secretly sentenced to hanging political prisoners who refused to recant their beliefs in the summer of 1988.
Numbers may be more telling in Pour-Mohammadi's case...
Reported executions in Iran
|This year (2013)
|Last year (2012)
These statistics are drawn from ABF’s daily surveys of more than 50 newspapers, websites, and blogs. The majority of these executions have been announced by the authorities themselves or reported by the semi-official media inside Iran. The exact number of executions is difficult to assess, however, as the reports are not always systematic and complete. Moreover, the Iranian authorities do not allow the independent investigation and monitoring of cases in which the death penalty is enforced. The numbers above include only individuals executed after formal judicial proceedings and do not include any who have died in detention or those assassinated or killed by security forces.
Other recent newsletters
Deadly Summer in Iran
July 29, 2013
Iran: Students' Demands From the 2013 Presidential Candidates
June 14, 2013
Looking Beyond Candidates: Elections and the Right to Political Participation in Iran
May 31, 2013
Fear and Silence: 30th Anniversary of the US Embassy Bombing in Beirut
April 18, 2013
A Brief Look At The Gonabadi Dervishes' Situation In Iran: Two Dervishes on The 87th Day Of A Hunger Strike
April 12, 2013
Iran-Argentina: A Curious Kind of Truth Commission
February 25, 2013
No Celebration of 2012 World Human Rights Day in Iran
December 20, 2012
Human Rights Day: Reflecting on the Dire Circumstances of Lawyers in Iran
December 10, 2012
'There Are Absolutely No Political Executions in Iran' -- A Statement by the Head of Iran's Judiciary That Should Not Go Unnoticed
October 22, 2012
In Support of Imprisoned Iranian Teachers
October 5, 2012
» And more...