"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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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