Iran Human Rights, March 9: According to the annual report on the death penalty in Iran, number of executions in 2009 in Iran were the highest in the past 10 years.
Commenting the annual report, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: "This reports confirms that the situation of the human rights in Iran is worse than in many years". He continued: " We are especially concerned about the high number of arbitrary executions and execution of those convicted for Moharebeh in 2009".
Moharebeh (meaning at war with God) is a charge Iranian authorities use for those who are involved in the struggle against the regime. Recently an Iranian court sentenced a 20 year old Iranian student Mohammad Amin Valian to death convicted of Moharebeh. He was convicted of Moharebeh because he confessed that he has thrown stones against the security forces under the Ashura protests in December 2009.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam asked the world community and the international civil society to condemn the violations of the human rights in Iran and show their support to the Iranian people’s movement for democracy and the human rights:" Many of those who have demanded their legitimate human rights in the past months in Iran are at risk of death penalty in the Iranian prisons. The international community should not get used to the repression and death penalty in Iran even though it happens everyday. Iranians are living under one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Iranian people need the world’s support today, and we should keep in mind that the world needs a democratic Iran".
Annual report on the death penalty in Iran- 2009
The present report is primarily based on the information published by the official Iranian media and gathered by members of the organization “Iran Human Rights” in the period of January 1. to December 31. 2009. Iran Human Rights has also used its own sources or reliable sources belonging to other human rights networks.
Since the protests after the presidential elections in June 2009, transfer of information has been increasingly difficult. Besides, the Iranian authorities have imposed a more strict control on what information they choose to hand out to the media, compared to the previous years. There are several lines of evidence suggesting that the actual number is significantly higher.
The vice prosecutor general of Ahwaz (capital of the southwestern province of Khuzestan) the number of executions in the past 11 months were 38. This is about than 3 times higher than the executions announced by the official media and our own sources. The situation could be similar in several other Iranian cities.
We have reason to believe that the numbers of the executions in the Kurdish regions of Iran are significantly higher than those presented in the present report.
This indicates that the present report is a strong underestimation of the real numbers of the death penalty carried out in Iran in 2009. But still Iran stays at the top of the world, along with China, as the country with highest number of executions.
These executions do not include those who were killed under the post-election protests. The total number of those who have been killed in connection to the protests is not known but according to different sources it could be between 70-150 people
Some facts from the report, compared to the numbers in (2008)
Number of executions announced by the official Iranian media: 339 (282 in 2008)
Total number of the executions including those not announced by the official media: 402 (350 in 2008)
In average more than one person was executed everyday in 2009
Number of the executions in 2009 increased with about 20% with respect to 2008
Highest number of the executions were in the month before the elections (May ;50 executions) and the month after the elections (July; 94 executions)
At least 5 minor offenders were hanged in Iran in 2009
13 women were executed in 2009
At least one person (man) was stoned to death in 2009
Below follows a short preliminary report on the death penalty in 2009 in Iran. A more complete report will follow later:
TOTAL NUMBER OF THE EXECUTIONS
According to our preliminary analysis at least 402 people were executed in 2009. 339 of the 402 were reported by the official Iranian media. This number is the highest since 2000. The following are numbers of the execution in Iran since year 2000, reported by Amnesty International:
2008: 350 (source Iran Human Rights) (346; Amnesty International)
SOME FACTS ON THE 339 CASES REPORTED BY THE IRANIAN OFFICIALS
There were 13 women among the 339 executions reported by the official Iranian media.
EXECUTION OF MINOR OFFENDERS
At least 5 minor offenders were executed in 2009 according to the Iranian media
Molla Gol Hassan (an Afghan citizen; Tehran),
Delara Darabi (Rasht),
Unidentified Afghan citizen (Shiraz),
Behnoud Shojaee (Tehran)
Mosleh Zamani (Kermanshah)
MONTHLY OVERVIEW OF THE EXECUTIONS
Diagram showing number of the executions by month in 2008 vs 2009: Highest number of the monthly executions occurred in July (the month following the presidential elections). In this month 94 people were executed in Iran. 50 of the executions in July took place in Tehran. Lowest number of executions were reported in June (the election month), followed by August/September (Ramedan) and April. Note the relatively high number of the reported executions in the months prior to the June elections.
Tehran (77), Ahvaz (41), Zahedan (41), Isfahan (40), Shiraz (30), Kermanshah (19) and Kerman (17) were the cities with the highest number of executions were the cities with the highest number of executions
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE AUTHORITIES
Most of those executed were either identified only by their initials or not identified at all.
Age and time of committing the offence was not provided for many of those executed.
Most of those executed were convicted of Drug trafficking (140), Homocide (56), Rape (24), and Moharebeh (31).
Moharebeh (meaning at war with God) is a term commonly used by the Iranian authorities for those to are involved in armed struggle against the authorities. 27 of the 31 individuals executed for moharebeh, were convicted of being members of the Baluchi group “Jondollah”. However, according to our reports many of these individuals either didn’t have any connection what so ever with Jondollah, or they just had web-based activities. The Kurdish political prisoner Ehsan Fattahian was executed in November 2009 convicted of moharebeh and membership in a Kurdish political party. He was originally sentenced to 10 years of prison for his membership in an illegal Kurdish political party. There were no evidence of his participation in any armed action.
Among the charges used for the death sentences we also find adultery (2), acts against chastity (1) and unspecific charges such as “disruption of order”.
One man who was convicted of adultery sentenced to death by stoning, was hanged in the prison of Sari.
Many of those executed were tried in closed “Revolutionary Courts”.
On May 30th three men were hanged charged for involvement in a bombing three days earlier. The whole trial process took about 30 hours.
After the summer’s elections we have observed an increase in number of the arbitrary executions.
Among those executed convicted of Moharebeh on July 14. in Zahedan, there were individuals who are believed to be hanged as a result of pure demonstration of power by the Iranian authorities. One of these individuals was “Manochehr Shahbakhsh” (26) who was arrested by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to Iran few weeks prior to the execution. Manochehr was working with a Sunni Muslim religious group with no connection to Jondollah or any other political group. One day prior to his execution, he wasn’t aware of the fact that he was going to be hanged.
On July 30. at leats 24 people were executed in the Rajaee shahr prison of Karaj (west of Tehran). Five days later the Iranian state media reported execution of 24 well-known international drug dealers. One of those executed on July 30. was according to the Afghan newspaper “Herat”, arrested one month prior to the execution at a location close to Tehran’s Azadi square (site of the major protest demonstrations). His family was not aware of his execution and claim that he didn’t have any connection with a narcotic league.
Families of many of those executed after the elections have been threatened by the Iranian authorities, and the bodies of the executed have been given to their families under the condition of “keeping silent”.
METHODS OF EXECUTION
Most of the executions have taken place by hanging inside the prison.
9 people were hanged in public places.
One person was stoned to death according to the official reports.
Public hanging of 2 men in Sirjan was stopped due to public protests. At least 7 people were shot to dead under these protests. The men were finally hanged inside the prison of Kerman.
Activities against the death penalty:
Following the summer’s elections increasing number of activists and general public have been involved in activities against the death penalty. Several hundred people had been gathering outside the Evin prison since early hours of the dawn of execution of Behnoud Shojaee. In December 2010, crowd of angry people rescued two young men from the gallows in Sirjan. People didn’t let the authorities to carry out the public hanging later that evening. At least 7 people were shot to death in the protest. The men were later hanged inside the prison of Kerman.
Case 1: Delara Darabi
“Friday morning, May 1st the phone ranged. Delara’s mother answered the phone and heard Delara’s voice on the other side of the phone saying: “Mom, they are going to hang me
The Iranian authorities hanged Delara without having informed her family or lawyer! The hanging was by some people interpreted as a warning by the Iranian regime to the civil society.
Case 2: Behnoud Shojaee
Behnoud Shojaee was another well-known minor offender who was hanged in 2009. His execution had been postponed 5 times previously. 3 times he had been to the execution yard at the Evin prison and seen other people be hanged. Several hundred people were gathered all the night outside the Evin prison. But it didn’t help. He was hanged by the father and the mother of Ehsan
Iranian authorities claimed that “qesas is the right of the family” Iran Human Rights spokesman said in a public statement: Qesas is probably the only “right” of the Iranian people that the regime insists to practice. We have several examples where the Iranian authorities do not respect the offended family’s right to forgive”
• Read more here
Execution victims are amongst the weakest in the society:
• Soheila Ghadiri (30) was convicted of murdering her 5 days old baby. According to the forensic medicine she was suffering psychosis at the time of the offence. The baby’s father, who according to the law was the only one who could decide whether to execute Soheila or not, wrote in a letter that he was willing to pardon her. However, neither the expert letter from the forensic medicine, nor the pardon of the baby’s father could save Soheila from execution.
Any questions regarding the details should be addressed to the following address: Iranhr2007@gmail.com
spokesperson of the site Iran human Rights:
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam (Tel: +47 91742177)