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    » 03/13/2012, 00.00

    IRAN

    Death penalties rise as two men are publicly executed



    In 2011, there were 65 hangings, 19 in 2020 and 9 in 2009. With today's executions, the number of public executions rises to 15 this year. The United Nations calls for a moratorium and legal guarantees for the accused. Iran slams the West for using human rights to strike at the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Teheran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Two men were publicly hanged in Mashhad, north-eastern Iran (pictured), a day after a human rights report on Iran was released at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva that included a request for a moratorium on the death penalty.

    According to official Iranian news agencies, the men were charged and convicted of involvement in 13 rape cases. They were arrested less than three months ago. The public hangings took place in Mashhad's Ferdowsi Square at 6:30 am, local time. The prisoners were identified as Akram Norouz Zahi, aka "Yasein", and Mojtaba Afshar, aka 'Saddam".

    According to the Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty there was a dramatic increase in the number of public executions in 2011 in Iran. Sixty-five people were hanged publicly last year; that is more than three times the number in 2010 (19 public hangings) and seven times higher than in 2009 (nine public executions). This trend is continuing in 2012 where so far, at least 15 people have been hanged publicly.

    Today's public executions took place just one day after the UN Special Rapporteur Ahmad Shaheed presented his report on the human rights situation in Iran at the UN Security Council meeting in Geneva.

    The report criticises the dramatic increase in the number of executions, calling on the Iranian government "to seriously consider a moratorium on the death penalty for all crimes" and "allow for legal representation of accused persons at all stages of investigations."

    Secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani lambasted Shaheed's report, saying it was biased.

    Larijani insisted that Iran would never allow UN human rights mechanisms to become tools in the hands of US and some Western states to exert political pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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    See also

    19/12/2007 UNITED NATIONS
    Partial victory against the death penalty
    Despite the UN vote in favour of a moratorium on capital punishment, Iran and China continue to kill prisoners. The right to life should be upheld for everyone, convicts as well as unborn children.

    17/03/2015 IRAN
    UN report describes a worsening human rights situation in Iran
    In his report to the Human Rights Council, the UN special rapporteur laments the increase in executions: 753 last year - including 25 women and 13 minors - and 252 so far this year. Journalists, activists, lawyers and political opponents continue to be persecuted.

    31/01/2006 Saudi Arabia - Iran
    UN to Saudi Arabia: An end to the execution of minors

    At least 126 people on death row for crimes committed while still minors.  Concern also for the execution of minors in Iran.



    15/01/2010 MONGOLIA
    Mongolian president calls for the abolition of the death penalty
    Tsakhia Elbegdorj says it degrades Mongolia's dignity. He plans to commute the sentence of people on death row. Since the start of his mandate, he has already commuted three death sentences. In parliament, a majority of lawmakers still supports the death penalty, and is blocking the president’s proposal.

    12/02/2009 CHINA - UNITED NATIONS
    China rejects all criticism on human rights, but accepts advice from Cuba and Iran
    In the report on the review of violations in China, Beijing stresses the advice of countries calling for greater control of dissidents and the internet. But human rights activists are claiming success simply for being able to discuss China's abuses at a UN meeting.



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