Shahriar Kia is a press spokesman for residents of Camp Liberty, Iraq, and members of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran opposition group (PMOI, also known as MEK). In his August 11 article for  The Hill, he says, “Following Iran’s nuclear agreement, the thinking was the country would begin to wind down its human rights violations, especially the use of executions. However, recent reports indicate 33 people were sent to the gallows on Aug. 2.”

Any call for appeasement, in regards to Iran, should be dismissed by Congress, according to Kia, and continued sanctions should be held against the leaders behind these human rights violations.

President-elect, Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) condemned the August 2 mass execution of Sunni prisoners as “an appalling crime against humanity.”  She declared, “The mullahs’ anti-human regime carried out the mass execution of our Sunni brothers on the anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. They are trying in vain to contain the volatile social atmosphere and popular protests by terrorizing the public.”  

Iranian communities all over the world are marking the 28th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in Iran over one summer. They’ve pledged to raise awareness about Iran’s shocking human rights record.

Last week’s mass execution was one of the worst in recent times, when at least 20 Sunni Kurds, were hanged at Gohardasht (Rajaie Shahr) Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran.  The victims maintained their innocence through solitary confinement and torture.

Kia says, “Iran is known for its skyrocketing number of executions and obtaining coerced confessions through torture and other banned methods. The mullahs have also proved their “sickening enthusiasm” of sending juveniles to the gallows, all in violation of international laws and respecting no bounds in this regard, according to Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Program Director of Amnesty International. International law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Iran is a state party, absolutely prohibits the use of death penalty for crimes committed when the defendant was below 18 years of age. Yet apparently this is a pretext Iran refuses to respect.”

Among those executed, Shahram Ahmadi had spent nearly three years in solitary confinement, and was sentenced to death after a “five-minute” trial, and without access to a lawyer.

In a statement from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, he condemned the mass execution as a “grave injustice,” and expressed his doubts that these individuals received a fair trial.

A series of global condemnations from a number of international organizations followed this terrible act.  President Rouhini’s regime stands accused of launching these executions with sectarian objectives. Demands for a halt to human rights violations have been issued. The International Federation of Human Rights Societies and Center of Human Rights Advocate made separate statements condemning the execution of Sunni prisoners in Iran.

According to Amnesty International executed 977 in 2015, 44 of them were convicted drug traffickers, who were hung in the span of just two days in 2009. This was one of the country’s largest mass executions to date. International law limits the application of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes”, like intentional killing. In Iran, human rights advocates are imprisoned for protesting against the death penalty. This, since the “moderate” Rouhani came to power.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, said in his statement to the UN Human Rights Council – Session 31- on March 14, 2016, “At least 966 persons — the highest rate in over two decades — were executed in 2015. At least 73 juvenile offenders were reportedly executed between 2005 and 2015. In the past two years alone, 16 juvenile offenders were executed.”

“In their practice of executing juveniles the mullahs have illustrated yet again their callous disregard for human rights. 160 individuals remain in torment on death row in prisons spanning across Iran for crimes allegedly committed during their juvenile years.” says Kia.

It’s ironic that these executions occurred just as the European Union is reported to be suggesting human rights negotiations with Iran.  Kia says, “Any reasonable party figures Iran would at least consider halting executions prior to such talks. However, this proves once again that Iran takes serious only a brazen and decisive language. This should also serve as a lesson on how Iran disregards and in fact abuses any interceding measures and has refused to budge on any of its old tactics after the much boasted ‘historic’ nuclear agreement.”



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