The death penalty is premeditated murder by the state. It must be unconditionally abolished worldwide. Abolition of the death penalty and valuing human life are the first steps toward fighting a ‘culture’ of killing in society. The death penalty is the most heinous form of premeditated murder in which a state, on behalf of society, in accordance with a preconceived plan, brutally and legally kills an individual, and announces the date and time of the event beforehand. Committing murder by citizens of a society can never be stopped when the state commits the same crime legally. The death penalty is a large contributor to the overall homicide and crime statistics.

In countries such as Iran political dissenters, gays, apostates, blasphemers, and even children are executed. The punishment for sex outside of marriage is stoning, which is the most monstrous form of execution. In such countries one must, indeed, add to this list the equally criminal, legal punishments such as gouging of eyes, pushing the convicted off heights, amputation, flogging and torture.

Many countries have put an end to the death penalty during the past 50 years. The growing movement against capital punishment has been a significant factor in the abolition of this inhuman punishment, or state crime. One important stronghold of the movement is in Iran, which is confronting an Islamic regime that has executed over hundred thousand people in the past 31 years – an annual average of over 3000 people and largely political prisoners. The abolition of the death penalty is an important demand of the Iranian people.

This year, 10 October, World Day against the Death Penalty, is yet another occasion for the world to stand up against the 21st century’s barbarism of capital punishment and demand the following:

1- The death penalty must be immediately abolished, in law as well as in practice, and existing execution sentences rescinded, in all countries.

2- Stoning is the most barbaric form of the death penalty carried out by Islamic states for sex outside of marriage. It must be officially declared a crime against humanity. Any state, political organisation, group or individual that commits this crime must be prosecuted and tried by international tribunals. All individuals sentenced to stoning must be freed immediately and unconditionally.

We consider ourselves part of the global anti-death penalty movement, and strongly support the struggles of people across the world to end capital punishment. Moreover, we hereby declare our solidarity with the people in Iran, and resolutely support their struggle to abolish stoning and execution which will be an important step in ultimately putting an end to an Islamic regime in Iran.

International Committee Against Execution
International Committee Against Stoning
Iran Solidarity
Mission Free Iran

Please endorse this statement by sending your name, organisation (if any) or position (such as student, writer, campaigner, blogger), city and country to before 10 October.

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