Execution of two opposition activists

Press release

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) strongly condemn the execution of two opposition activists early this morning, after confirmation of their sentence in appeal.

Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour were hanged in Tehran on 28 January after being convicted of ’trying to topple the Islamic establishment’, ’moharebeh’ and membership in armed groups. Certain media report that those executions are connected to the protests that took place last summer after the disputed presidential election. However, one of the two men had actually been arrested before the June events. “We fear that these executions demonstrate a resumption of political executions in Iran”, said Karim Lahidji, President of LDDHI and Vice-President of FIDH.

In June 2009, thousands of Iranians poured into the streets to protest against the announcement that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been re-elected, alleging fraud. Dozens of people were killed during the unrest that followed while thousands of people have been detained since June. More demonstrations took place last month, during which 8 people were killed. “More than 3,000 persons remain behind the bars today in connection with the post-election events”, added Mr. Lahidji.

The two executed were among 11 people sentenced to death purportedly in connection with the post-June events. Among them, five allegedly belong to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) – see FIDH press release of January 12 on http://www.fidh.org/Iran-Political-opponents-face-execution.

FIDH and LDDHI firmly condemn the execution of Reza Ali-Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour and express their deepest concern about the fate of the other nine activists condemned to death for similar charges. FIDH and LDDHI call upon the Iranian authorities to immediately release all those who are being arbitrarily detained, to stop the execution of opposition activists and to respect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. Finally, on the eve of the Universal Periodic Review of the Islamic Republic of Iran on February 15 in Geneva, FIDH and LDDHI urge the international community to take relevant initiatives to prevent further executions and to ensure that the Iranian authorities put an end to the current policy of terror.

Read more