The United Nations human rights has urged the Iranian Government to immediately halt executions, after voicing deep concern about reports that 80, and possibly up to 95, people have been put to death in the country since the beginning of this year.

“We regret that the new Government has not changed its approach to the death penalty and continues to impose capital punishment for a wide range of offences,” Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told reporters in Geneva on Friday.

“We urge the Government to immediately halt executions and to institute a moratorium.”

The office voiced deep concern about the reported spike in executions in Iran since the start of 2014. “In just over seven weeks, at least 80 people have been executed. Some reliable sources indicate the figure could be as high as 95,” Shamdasani said.

She said the majority of these executions were for drug-related offences, which do not meet the threshold in international law of “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty may be applied. A number of individuals were also executed in secret and at least seven people have been executed in public this year.

OHCHR is especially concerned about the reported execution in secret of Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, both members of the Ahwaz Arab community. Ms. Shamdasani said their executions were reportedly carried out in January following proceedings that did not meet international fair trial and due process standards.

The two men were reportedly sentenced to death on ill-defined charges of “enmity against God” (Moharebeh), corruption on earth (Mofsid fil-arz) and acts against national security.

“They were allegedly denied access to a lawyer and their families for the first nine months of their detention, and reportedly subject to torture to force confessions,” Shamdasani stated.

OHCHR added that there was a “notable” escalation in executions, including of political prisoners and individuals belonging to ethnic minority groups, in the second half of 2013.

At least 500 people are known to have been executed in 2013, including 57 in public. According to some sources, the figure may be as high as 625.

(U.N. News)

One reply on “Call for death penalty moratorium amid spike in executions in Iran”

  1. The problem is that with lots of tiny countries in the Caribbean cash voting in favour of Iran at the UN, it is difficult to sanction or punish them.

    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has aligned itself with Iran on the policies and instructions of ALBA. All the ALBA member vote in support, with or in favour of Iran, and that includes SVG.

    If you look at the UN voting history during Camillo Gonsalves Ambassador ship at the UN, he abstained from voting against Iran every time, an abstention has exactly the same effect as voting with them or for them.

    SVG took money from Iran supposedly for the Argyle airport, from that point forward, they owned our UN vote.

    Remember how I pointed out in the past taking money from the Iranians, was taking blood money. Why? because the Iranians at the time and still do, execute people just for having Christian beliefs. I also wrote on this very media how taking such money could well bring a curse on the Argyle airport.

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