EU’s Ashton appeals to Iran to stay activist’s execution

European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton

AFP – EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday urged Iran to stay the execution of activist Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, sentenced for allegedly supporting the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran(MEK/PMOI).

Ashton said in a statement she was “deeply concerned” by reports his execution “may be imminent”. He was sentenced in 2010 for “enmity against God” in connection with claims he supported the dissident group.

Ashton “appeals for clemency and urges that the sentence be commuted,” the statement said.

“The EU holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty,” it added. Ashton “restates her call on Iran to halt all pending executions and to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty.”

Earlier this year she voiced concern over the large number of executions in Iran, saying hundreds of people were executed in 2011. She said at the time that Iran was “the world’s leading user of the death penalty per inhabitant”.