Last Thursday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement condemning the execution of a young offender in Iran. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that this is just one of many human rights violations that take place regularly with no accountability.
January 3 – Zahedan, southeast #Iran
Authorities in Zahedan prison executed political prisoners Hassan Dehvari and Elias Ghalandar-zehi early Sunday morning local time.
A third prisoner, Omid Mahmoud-zehi, was also executed in this facility today.#StopExecutionsInIran pic.twitter.com/oeDVRsmgAR
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 3, 2021
Earlier in 2020, 3 other young offenders were executed by the Iranian judiciary and this latest case shows that the regime takes no notice of criticisms from outside the country.
Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee was hanged at the age of 30 years after being on death row for more than 13 years due to allegations that at the age of 16 years he had stabbed a man which led to his death.
At the time of the alleged murder, the assailant under international human rights law shouldn’t have been given the death penalty due to his age. But Iran never takes any notice of international law and does as it pleases.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of democracy and accountability in the country, it is rare that any sentences implemented are ever overturned. What the judiciary does with younger people who have been charged is to wait until they get older so they can implement a sentence such as the death penalty without the need for accountability.
This morning, Iranian authorities executed Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee after a grossly unfair trial in which forced "confessions" obtained under torture were used to convict him. He was just 16 when arrested https://t.co/zOoOBuDeb2 pic.twitter.com/BG6LahJmlP
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) December 31, 2020
Tehran has refused to stop the executions of juveniles and has not responded to any accusations so far.
Juveniles who have been sentenced to the death penalty are mostly held in prison until their 18th birthday, and sometimes for even longer, to ensure that because the convicted juvenile has reached 18 years few will complain if he was subjected to the death penalty.
Tehran seems committed to implementing juvenile execution so human rights activists can bring attention to more than one such case every calendar year. Currently, there is a constant backlog of juvenile offenders around 80 who are waiting to be executed on death row in Iranian prisons.
Iran has the highest execution rate per capita
The report for 2020 from the Human Rights Activists News Agency said that 236 capital sentences had been imposed in 2020 with 95 put on death row. This is supposedly fewer than 2017 because a law was allegedly passed that seemingly ended the death penalty for it seems some non-violent drug offenders.
It appears that recently there was an implementation of new sentencing guidelines that gave judges the power to make their own decisions. Overall it seems from the evidence provided that some hanging judges haven’t taken any notice of new guidelines. So, overall, statistics reveal that in 2020, 95 executions were for non-violent drug offenders.
At least 7 prisoners executed in Iran before the end of 2020 @UNHumanRightsEU
The int'l community cannot remain silent.
Condemn decades of crimes against humanity by the mullahs' regime and hold your solidarity with Iranians todayhttps://t.co/lSwQxIyeIy pic.twitter.com/oZWtnVeUz6
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) January 4, 2021
In December the Iran Human Rights Monitor reported that the vice president of the parliament’s Judicial and Legal Commission had announced its intent to draft a bill that would permit the death penalty to be for an entirely new category of a non-violent offense.
This, according to the official, Hassan Norouzi, identified a new law that was based on “the Fifth Book of the Islamic Punishment Law which deals with punishment of betting in the cyberspace.” Also, according to Norouzi, the bill emphasized some tough punishments for such activities as repeated instances of someone being involved in online gambling.
According to HRANA, Mohabreh was responsible for four percent of the death sentences implemented in 2020 in Iran. And this figure offers has been noticed by the UNHCR, Amnesty International, and the Center for Human Rights in Iran.
#Iran: Three Sunni Prisoners Executed in Mashhad Prison On December 31, 2020, #NCRI and (#PMOI/#MEK Iran) reported that the mullahs’ regime hanged three Sunni prisoners, Hamid Rastbala, Kabir Sa’adat Jahani, and Mohammad Ali Arayesh. #WeStand4FreeIran pic.twitter.com/qtexh164Ud
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) January 3, 2021
The UNHCR recently released a warning regarding a report released on the execution of three prisoners without any notice given who were members of the Baluchi ethnic minority and the Sunni Muslim religious minority. They were it seems among quite a large group of inmates who were placed into solitary confinement on December 18 which led observers to believe that they were about to be executed.
So far the statistics for executions in Iran are yet to be released for 2020 but the estimated total is a figure around 236 which is likely to be underestimated with no true figures likely to be revealed any time soon.
Decades of Resistance gathered in one.#FreeIranTelethon
Documentaries and live conferences by eyewitnesses and victims' families of 1988 Massacre in Iran.
Simay Azadi TV is persistent to claim justice for 30,000 executed political prisoners by the current regime. pic.twitter.com/2SumZ7hI64
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) January 3, 2021
Sadly many of the executions are as a result of those convicted simply fighting for the right to speak openly in their own country. There are very few western democracies that would choose to gun down peaceful protesters.
Iran Human Rights Monitor released a report that a 32-year-old called Shaker Behrouz was sent to trial on December 9 and then handed a death sentence for a murder that there is no evidence he committed. Even Behrouz’s family rejected any accusations filed against Behrouz and was only too willing to testify in his favor.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI): Consecutive executions of Baluchi political prisoners, particularly after years of imprisonment, are tantamount to the massacre of political prisoners which is an ongoing crime against humanity. Once again, I call for action by the UN Security Council.