Death penalty in Iran : stop executions now!

24/07/2007
Press release

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) strongly condemn the execution of 12 Iranian citizens, hanged in Tehran on 22 July 2007. The men were charged with a variety of offences arising out of the Government’s May 2007 "crack down on immoral behaviour".

On Sunday, 22 July 2007, 12 men were hanged at Evin prison, Tehran. The condemned had been convicted of "repeated rape, sodomy, and violent assault and battery" as well as drug trafficking offences.

According to the information received, the men were arrested, along with hundreds of other Iranians, during a so-called "morality crackdown" in May this year. Some among the accused would, in fact, have been condemned for having defamed religion or for their homosexual behaviour.

These executions come during a time in which the Iranian authorities have dramatically increased the use of the death penalty, confirming its position as one of the world’s top practitioners of the death penalty. In announcing the latest round of executions, the Prosecutor of Teheran reportedly confirmed that he will also seek the execution of another 17 individuals in the coming days. Since January 2007, more than one hundred people have been executed, disregarding the petitions of the
international community.

FIDH and LDDHI reaffirm its total opposition to the death penalty. In addition, the United Nations Human Rights Committee specifically mentions that death penalty should be reserved for the most serious crimes; under no circumstances should a State sanction the right of its citizens to freely express their opinion nor condemn homosexuality.

FIDH and LDDHI urge the Iranian authorities to conform with their international obligations in respect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.

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