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Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

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Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

Germany reacts to criticism of Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's trip to Iran

German Foreign Minister
Guido Westerwelle and
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
BERLIN, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has defended himself against criticism that he met with Iranian hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to free two German journalists.

"Whoever criticizes this trip should tell that to the two who are now back in Germany," he said.

Westerwelle Saturday flew to Iran to bring home two German journalists who had been sitting in an Iranian prison for several months. They were arrested last October while interviewing the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose death-by-stoning sentence for an adultery conviction drew international condemnation last summer.

The affair had further undermined Germany's relations with Iran, which is shunned by the West for its controversial nuclear program and its crackdown on the domestic opposition.

After months of negotiations, Tehran last week indicated that the pair, reporter Marcus Hellwig and photographer Jens Koch, might be released on the condition that Westerwelle meet with Ahmadinejad. It was the first such bilateral encounter between the Iranian president and a German foreign minister.

Afterward, Westerwelle, Hellwig and Koch boarded the Bundeswehr plane and flew to Germany, where they were greeted by the journalists' families who had feared for their relatives for months.

The German opposition and exiled Iranians in Europe condemned the meeting as an unnecessary gesture to the Iranian regime at a time when it's coming under pressure from protesters.

"This trip is nothing but pinning hope on the bankrupt and utterly failed policy of appeasement," the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an exiled Iranian opposition group, said in a statement e-mailed Saturday to reporters.

It said Westerwelle's meeting with Ahmadinejad took place "only a few days after the bloody crackdown" on Iranian anti-government protesters, and served "only (to) embolden the regime to further suppress Iranian people."

And indeed, after Westerwelle had departed, the regime in Tehran tried to use the meeting to its advantage.

The New York Times quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry official Hassan Qashqavi as saying on Sunday that Westerwelle's visit "proved the failure of European Union policy on Iran."

Brussels has in the past asked EU foreign ministers not to visit Iran. "The current visit puts an end to such a decision," Qashqavi is quoted as saying.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was informed about the trip but didn't know that it would include a meeting with Ahmadinejad, her spokesman said Monday.

"In that kind of a situation it is always a question of weighing the pros and cons," spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a regular news conference in Berlin. "Our international partners are still absolutely clear that our opinion of Iran hasn't changed at all. ... We're absolutely clear about the fact that the situation in Iran concerning human rights and political freedoms is unacceptably bad."

He added that Merkel was happy with the outcome of the trip.

Source: United Press International, February 22, 2011
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