Expressing concern is not enough; please take action now
- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On January 12, 2012
- 2 Comments
Mina Ahadi has written an open letter to Catherine Ashton, Vice-president and high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy about the outrageous executions taking place in Iran.
Critics of Islam, political activists and others are executed daily in Iran; in the first few days of 2012 the Islamic regime of Iran has ‘upgraded’ its body count to three per day. It is not enough to issue letters of protest. This regime must be diplomatically isolated internationally. Its representatives must be expelled from international assemblies. Its embassies must be shut down. We don’t need economic sanctions that will put further pressure on the people of Iran; we need political pressure and the diplomatic isolation of this regime so that people in Iran can bring it down. She says, it’s not enough to express concern; they need to act now. Read her letter here.
Dear Ms Ashton
On 11 January 2012 two youth were executed in Evin prison. One of them was identified as ‘Fazlollah’ for the crime described as rape; the other’s name was given as ‘Jalal’ and his crime was described as follows by the Islamic regime: “Jalal intended to marry a girl called Fariba, but he subsequently raped her, and because of this, Fariba committed suicide”. Today, Evin prison witnessed the execution of these two individuals. Of course, everybody knows that the Islamic regime’s courts are medieval and executions are political.
In order to subjugate people on the eve of every so-called election and in anticipation of any internal political tension, the Islamic regime cruelly sacrifices a number of individuals, hoping that this will silence everyone else.
The year 2012 began with more bloodletting because the Islamic regime is more beleaguered than ever and fears the people more than ever. Of course, the execution of these two youths in Evin prison on 11 January 2012 was not the first execution in Evin this year. In the first few days of the year, 22 people had secretly been executed there.
Together with the report of the two executions in Evin, we have received news that the Judiciary has condemned two Iranian-Afghan citizens to death in one of its courts of injustice. The execution of Iranian-Afghans and brutality towards them already figure prominently in the Islamic regime’s catalogue of crimes, and hundreds of Afghans have been secretly executed in Iran.
Of course, the execution of political activists is still on the Islamic regime’s agenda. Among the reports of the latest executions in Iran there is news of the plot against three Kurdish political activists who may well be condemned to death. Changiz Qadam Kheir, Shurosh Rezai and Fardin Farji, who were arrested in 2011 were framed and could now face death sentences. These three individuals, for your information, were forced with torture and intimidation to confess on Press TV. Press TV is the Islamic Republic’s television station based in London. It has been involved in obtaining forced confessions from others including the Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. It broadcast a programme featuring Sakineh and her son, promising them their freedom after incriminating themselves in this fabricated documentary. This television channel is an arm of the Islamic Republic’s intelligence apparatus and some of its journalists are professional interrogators of the Islamic regime.
Moreover, there are currently five people being investigated by the Islamic regime’s courts in a case known as ‘Heretics 3’; so far, two of them have been condemned to death. Vahid Asghari, aged 25, was condemned to death for maintaining a website against religion and Islam. Ahmadreza Hashempur was condemned to death for keeping an anti-religious and, according to the regime, “obscene” website. He is 40 years old and holds a doctorate. The death sentence was confirmed on appeal by the regime’s Supreme Court on 11 January 2012.
The Islamic regime has declared that these individuals’ websites were “obscene and anti-religious”. Saeid Malekpour, an Iranian-Canadian citizen, was condemned to death earlier for the same crime, and his case is currently before the regime’s Supreme Court. Clearly, criticism of religion and Islam or maintaining a website can lead people to the gallows in Iran. Of course, according to Iranian law apostasy is punishable by death.
I would like to inform you that Zaniar Moradi, a 21 year old youth who could be executed at any time, managed to send messages outside the prison pleading with the people of the world not to allow him to be killed. Please imagine how it might feel to be a 21-year-old boy who has spent the past two years in prison enduring the tortures and barbaric behaviour of a handful of murderers, and who, together with his cousin, could be executed at any moment. Zaniar is waiting for the world to protest against these crimes and atrocities. In a letter, Zaniar has described the torture methods and rape threats that have been used against him by the regime’s interrogators, and now at any time he could be executed in public along with his cousin, Loqman Moradi, aged 25. These two prisoners’ relatives have implored the people of the world to help to save their boys.
Another such case is the Islamic regime’s flagrant plot against Amir Mirzai Hekmati, an Iranian-American who is in imminent danger of having his death sentence carried out. Amir Mirzai Hekmati, an American of Iranian ancestry, was sentenced to death for ‘corruption on Earth’. His family says that this 25-year-old, who was born in America, had gone to Iran to visit his grandmother and is now in danger of execution. Apparently he too, like other prisoners, was tortured and forced to confess on television, similarly to Sakineh.
Please note the following execution statistics.
While in 2011 two people were executed per day, the regime has begun the year 2012 by executing three people per day. In the past ten days, reports regarding Iranian prisons have been as follows:
During the first days of 2012, Salah Rashidiyyeh was executed in Zanjan prison.
On Tuesday, 3 January, two people were executed in Arak prison.
On Wednesday, 4 January, five people were executed in Zanjan central prison. Their names were not revealed but their crimes were claimed to be drug-related.
On Wednesday, 4 January, one person was executed in Semnan prison.
On Thursday, 5 January, a 53-year-old prisoner named Nazar Ali Moradi was executed in Khorin prison, Varamin, for possession of 215 grammes of heroin and a kilogramme of opium.
At the same time, eight other people were executed in various Iranian prisons. Three were executed in public in Kermanshah. It was announced that these three, identified as Alireza Ahmadi, son of Khodadad, aged 48, Sadeq Eskandari, son of Vali, aged 33, and Sasan Basami, son of Jahangir, aged 36, had been condemned to death for “armed robbery of the Sepah Bank in Kermanshah” last August. The other five were hanged in the prisons of Kerman and Bam.
On Saturday, 7 January, one person was publicly executed in a village near Gachsaran.
On Wednesday, 11 January, two people were executed in Evin prison.
The real number of executions is greater, since some are carried out secretly. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has recently published information about the secret execution of hundreds of people in Vakil Abad prison, Mashhad, and revealed the names of 101 of them. These executions were collective, and the condemned were prevented from bidding their loved ones farewell. Only hours before their executions, they were instructed to write their wills and perform ritual ablutions. Their death certificates, with cause of death being ‘judicial killing’ were issued at times a day before their executions. This is the Islamic regime of Iran!
Last year, Amnesty International confirmed the execution of 252 people in Iran during the year 2011, and announced an additional 300 instances of secret execution on the basis of reliable reports.
We agree that we are dealing with a regime which perpetrates crimes and atrocities and whose behaviour does not change even in response to letters of protest such as your own. This has been going on for many years.
The International Committee Against Execution is asking you to support a policy of isolating this regime, to initiate serious actions including the closure of the regime’s embassies in European countries to protest the executions of hundreds of Iranian dissidents, to give succour to those condemned to die and to the victims of the regime’s brutality, and to show that you are truly concerned with saving the lives of Zaniar and the critics of Islam and likewise with defending freedom of speech and the human dignity of individuals. We are asking you to show that your actions are not limited to sending the occasional letter of protest without great practical effect.
International Committee Against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
11 January 2012
Tel: +49 177 569 2413.