The Islamic Republic execution machine is in full operation and is crushing its victims continuously. It has executed around 200 victims within the last eight months. In the last month, 29 people were hanged in one day. Consequently, two teenagers who were sentenced to death were hanged in Bushehr. The last cases were Ya’ghoob Mehrnahad and Abdolnaser Taheri which took place last week.
Ya’ghoob Mehrnahad, one of the civil society activists, director of “Youth of Justice Voice” association, and Baluch journalist was also in charge of Mardomsalari Newspaper in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan. Within the recent years, it is the first time that a journalist or a civil society activist has been executed.
The Islamic Republic organs accused Mehrnahad of being in contact with Jondollah (Army of God) group and tried him behind closed doors in an unjust court in the absence of his defense attorney and his family and sentenced him to death.
Clearly Mehrnahad’s execution was a message of fear to the civil society activists and critic journalists and taking revenge from Jondollah. Jondollah commits criminal acts – abduction and beheading – in Baluchestan. Since the Islamic Republic does not have access to their leaders it victimizes people like Mehrnahad as a revenge action. Taking revenge has a chronic precedence in the Islamic Republic history. The key example is the mass execution of thousands of the political prisoners in 1367 (1988) after Mojahedin Khalgh attacked West of the country.
The Islamic Republic does not tolerate peaceful struggles of the social movements and national minority activists and sentences them to long term prison or executes them. By widespread executions and suppressive policy against social movement activists, among them national minority activists, the Islamic Republic spreads violence within the society, propels opponents to react violently, and then it reacts against them with violence.
Currently a number of Kurdish activists are in death row. A while ago three Kurdish activists by the names of Farzad Kamangar, Farhad Vakili, and Ali Heidarian were charged with being “member of an opposition party” and waging “war against the regime” and as a result, were sentenced to death in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. Farzad Kamangar is a teacher and a human rights activist who was arrested in 2006 and went through an extensive set of brutal torture in Evin 209 lockup, Kermanshah and Sanandaj intelligence prisons. His hearing lasted a few minutes and neither he nor his attorney was allowed to defend. Anvar Hossein Panahi and Arsalan Ouliaei were transferred from Sanandaj central prison to the revolutionary court and sentenced to death. Anvar Hossein Panahi is a teacher and cultural activists of the town of Dehgalan who was kept and tortured for some time in intelligence lockout of town of Ghorve. Bahais who have been arrested some time ago have been accused of espionage. They are under peril of execution. According to the Human Rights International Organization statement, at least 132 convicted youth are in death row. According to this statement, the real figure could be much higher.
Capital punishment is against Universal Human Rights Declaration. Within the recent years, number of countries who banned capital punishment has increased. In spite of this fact, the Islamic Republic has increased the number of capital punishment. Last year, over 290 victims were executed in Iran. Most of them were hanged in public. In terms of execution rate, the Islamic Republic is second to China.
The Islamic Republic execution machine must be stopped. This regime must not be allowed to victimize so many people of our country. We must plead to all the international organizations to have human rights violation, particularly execution in Iran in their focal attention and put pressure on the Islamic Republic to secure human rights and stop execution.
Political-Executive Board of The Organization of Iranian People’s Fadaian – Majority (OIPFM)
August 11, 2008