No Culture, No Religion Condones the Killing of Innocents
December 16, 2016
For more than 15 years, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation has documented executions and extrajudicial killings carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The tally so far, 18,766, is harrowing. And though we still have much work ahead of us, the impact of Omid Memorial is undeniable. Over the years, the intensity of killings and state brutality has varied, but contempt for human lives, lack of due process, and the arbitrariness characterizing Iran’s justice system have been constant – and inevitably, along with them, the taking of innocent of lives.
Over the decades, thousands of people have been killed for crimes they had not committed or acts that do not qualify as crime. They were punished for using their right to freedom of thought, religion, association, and expression or because the state violated their right to privacy, among other things. But there is no systematic record of their killing, except in Omid Memorial, which keeps their memory alive and challenges Iranian authorities with the truth they seek to hide.
As we document cases, we constantly stumble across events and killings that were never reported. In a context of decades-long impunity, a public record of abuses – whether committed 30 years ago or yesterday - is not a luxury but a necessity. Though the task before us is not easy, it is not impossible. Citizens’ response to Omid Memorial has only made us more determined to carry it through. If the will exists, and the means, our hand will be much stronger in pressing the Islamic Republic leaders to face the truth, including the killing of innocents– a practice that no culture or religion condones. It is only then that we can hope for serious and sustained changes in unjustifiable laws and practices.