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Amnesty International

Iran: Further information: Iranian man executed; one may remain at risk: Farzad Alizadeh Mohajer and Mohammad Zafari

Amnesty International
March 22, 2011
Appeal/Urgent Action

Further information on UA: 126/07

Index: MDE 13/033/2011 I

Farzad Alizadeh Mohajer, also known as Abbas, was executed on 12 January 2011 in Evin Prison, Tehran, the capital of Iran. Mohammad Zafari, who was sentenced along with Farzad Alizadeh Mohajer, may still be at risk of execution.

According to reports, Farzad Alizadeh Mohajer and Mohammad Zafari were sentenced to death by Branch 17 of the Revolutionary Court in the town of Karaj, near Tehran, for the rape of a girl in Karaj in January or February 2005. Their sentences were upheld on appeal on 6 September 2006 by Branch 77 of the Criminal Court in Tehran, and were confirmed by Branch 39 of the Supreme Court. They were reportedly represented by court-appointed lawyers. Amnesty International has no information as to whether Mohammad Zafari has been executed or not.

Amnesty International recorded over 200 executions in Iran in 2010 that were acknowledged by the authorities. Credible reports suggest that hundreds more people were executed in secret, mostly convicted drugs offenders held in Vakilabad Prison, Mashhad, north-east of the country. The rate of executions in Iran has sharply increased since December 2010. So far in 2011, over 100 people have been executed, mainly those convicted of alleged drug-related offences. Some have reportedly been executed in secret (for further information, see Iran: Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi and Rights Groups Demand Moratorium on Executions, 16 February 2011, (Index: MDE 13/015/2011), http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/015/2011/en ).

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, English or your own language:
Deploring the execution of Farzad Alizadeh Mohajer; Calling on the Iranian authorities to clarify whether Mohammad Zafari is still alive, and what his current legal status is; Urging the Iranian authorities not to execute Mohammad Zafari, if he is still held under sentence of death and to immediately implement a moratorium on all executions.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 MAY 2011 TO:
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street - End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info_leader@leader.ir
via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
[care of] Public relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street
Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: bia.judi@yahoo.com (In subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
High Council for Human Rights
[Care of] Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737,Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir (subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
Salutation: Dear Sir

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 126/07. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/060/2007/en

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

There is no specific offence of rape in Iran, which is instead dealt with under the "zena" (sexual relations outside marriage) provisions of the Penal Code. Under these provisions, someone who is raped is not liable to punishment for "zena", but the penalty for the rapist is a mandatory death sentence.

Amnesty International recognizes the rights and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences such as rape, but opposes the death penalty as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Human Rights Committee has clarified in its General Comment 6 that the death penalty should be an "exceptional measure", and the Commission on Human Rights clarified in Resolution 2005/59 that the notion of "most serious crimes" does not go beyond intentional crimes with lethal or extremely grave consequences. It also says that the death penalty should not be a mandatory sentence. In 2010, less than 10 per cent of those whose executions were announced officially were convicted of murder or other crimes with a lethal consequence.

On 16 March 2011, the Head of the Supreme Court said the Head of the Judiciary had requested that cases of "evildoers and those who disturb public order or create unease in the public mind" should be dealt with more quickly by the Supreme Court, and confirmed that in future, death sentences confirmed by lower courts would be processed by the Supreme Court in less than 10 days.