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Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

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"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
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Latest Report Finds Human Rights in Iran Are Abysmal


Medieval punishments: Public flogging in Iran
The Iran Human Rights Monitor has released its report into the state of human rights in Iran during March 2018 and, as always, it makes for unpleasant reading, with many instances of executions, arbitrary murders, torture, corporal punishment, abuse of political prisoners, and lack of a just legal system. 

Here, we will provide a summary of the key topics raised in the report, but for more information, please visit the site itself. As always, these numbers cited here are believed to be lower than the actual number of people who have been executed/killed/punished by the Regime, due to the Regime's attempts to hide their abuses. 

Executions 


There were 12 registered executions in March, with two unnamed men executed in public. This included some people who were suffering from mental illness and some who may have been children when the crime was committed. 

Here are the names of the 10 that Iran HRM could identify: 

1. Hamid Imani 

2. Masoud Vakili 

3. Keyvan Rashkhar 

4. Ramin Razavi 

5. Mehdi Sarabi 

6. Ayoub Babakhani 

7. Ehsan Yaqubi 

8. Javad Golniat 

9. Mohammad Rostami 

10. Rahim Salimi 

There are a further 86 inmates currently on death row in the notorious Gohardasht Prison. 

Arbitrary murders 


On March 26, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) opened fire and killed Ibrahim Soleimani, a porter and father of 5. 

Deaths in custody 


In March, 3 prisoners in Iran were tortured to death and 2 more died because the authorities refused to allow them urgent medical care. 

The 3 tortured include: 

-- Ghobad Azimi, who was killed under torture just 2 days after he was detained by the Javanroud Intelligence Agency, but his family were told that he committed suicide. This is a favoured tactic by the Regime to cover up their wrongdoing. 

-- Mohammad Raji, a member of the Dervish Gonabadi community, who was arrested during a protest against the Regime's abuses against members of his faith. 

-- Ali Savari, whose body shows signs of torture, was tortured to death by a notorious prison guard in Sheiban Prison, called Hamidian. 

The HRM report only named one of the prisoners who died through a lack of medical attention. He was Vahid Safarzehi who reportedly swallowed a razor blade and could have been save if he'd been seen by a doctor. 

Medieval punishments: Public hanging in Iran

Inhuman treatment and cruel punishments 


The report cited 2 instances of public flogging in Bushehr and Sirjan in early March, but the victims are unnamed. 

Arrests 


At least 2,100 people were arrested in March, with 889 people arrested during the Persian fire festival celebrations and another 30 arrested during Persian New Year celebrations. 

Some of those arrested were trade unionists, some were attending a mixed-gender party, some were rallying on International Women's Day, and some were simply holding New Year celebrations. The linking factor is that these people who were rallying together for a political reason or even holding mass celebrations pose a threat to the Regime, which is incredibly weak. 

Abuse of political prisoners 


At least 5 political prisoners have been on hunger strike in March to oppose their own mistreatment/imprisonment or that of others. The Iranian Regime's authorities have reacted with violence, the refusal of urgent medical treatment (medical terrorism), or even transferred them to wards where violent or dangerous criminals are kept. 

One man, Hamidreza Amini, was beaten in front of his wife and children while handcuffed and shackled to a hospital bed, while Soheil Arabi was beaten by prison guards and is now suspected of brain damage. 

Prison conditions 


The prisons in Iran are remarkably poor, far below the minimum standards laid out by the UN. As has been mentioned before, there are problems even getting drinking water for the prisoners let alone food, clean quarters, and working facilities (i.e. lights, doors). 

This poses a hygiene risk and means that many prisoners are getting seriously ill. Some are even forced to pay for fixing facilities or bottled water. 


Source: NCRI, April 3, 2018


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

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