Since grabbing power in 1979, the Iranian regime has executed, killed and tortured thousands of political dissidents and ordinary Iranians who dared challenge its rule.
Torture and other ill-treatment have been widespread and committed with impunity. Floggings, amputations and other cruel punishments have been carried out.
In the past four decades, Iran has gone through numerous social crises perpetrated by the regime either deliberately or due to its mismanagement: Poverty, drug addiction, child labor, beggars, etc.
These social crises are the source of many criminal acts in society. Rather than curing the social problems and healing the wounds, the regime’s response to these crimes is inhumane punishments.
These executions and punishments based on Sharia Law are in blatant violation of human rights and the International Conventions signed by the Iranian regime.
The Iranian regime’s aim in violating human rights is to stay in power and without these inhumane punishments, it would have met its demise long ago.
In November, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee penned and passed a draft resolution that condemned the Iranian regime for its blatant human rights violations.
The UNGA resolution voiced concern for the Iranian regime’s continued disregard for international judiciary and human rights norms.
The UN resolution also expressed concern about the “alarmingly high frequency” of the use of death penalty in Iran, especially against minors, “the widespread and systematic use of arbitrary detention,” poor prison conditions including “deliberately denying prisoners access to adequate medical treatment,” and “cases of suspicious deaths in custody.”
Since grabbing power in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has executed, killed and tortured thousands of political dissidents and ordinary Iranians who dared challenge its rule.
The Iranian regime have used execution as a tool to suppress and silence a disgruntled public the majority of whom live under the poverty line, are unemployed and deprived of freedom of expression.
Execution has been a tool which helped the Iranian regime hold its grab on power.
Iran has implemented the death penalty for a wide variety of charges since the 1979 Revolution, including drug trafficking and religious offences. It is one of only four countries, along with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, known to have executed child offenders since 2013.
Iran is among those governments that execute their opponents. 120,000 people have been executed in Iran since 1981 for their opposition to the government, at-least one-third of whom have been women. According to the international laws, pregnant women must not be executed, whereas in Iran, at least 50 pregnant women have been executed in the 1980s.
Execution of political prisoners:
In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran.
Children as young as 13 were hanged from cranes, six at a time, in a barbaric two-month purge of Iran’s prisons, based on Khomeini’s fatwa decree calling for all Mojahedin (as opponents of the Iranian regime are known) to be killed, according to Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the once successor to Iran’s first supreme leader.
Issued shortly after the end of the Iran-Iraq war in July 1988 the fatwa reads: “It is decreed that those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Monafeqin (Mojahedin) are waging war on God and are condemned to execution.”
More than 30,000 political prisoners were executed in the 1988 massacre. Secret documents smuggled out of Iran reveal that, because of the large numbers of necks to be broken, prisoners were loaded onto forklift trucks in groups of six and hanged from cranes in half-hourly intervals.
Tehran has never admitted to the killings, revealed the whereabouts of the bodies or the fate of thousands of those who disappeared.
During the past years Iran continued the policy of suppression of dissidents with unfair use of the death penalty against hundreds of political prisoners, most notably:
Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili, and Shirin Alam Holi, were executed by hanging on May 9, 2010, in Tehran’s Evin prison.
In addition to finding the Kurdish political prisoners guilty of various national security crimes, the judiciary sentenced all five to death after convicting them of the crime of moharebeh, or “enmity with God.”
The prisoners however, had alleged numerous instances of abuse and torture at the hands of prison authorities in Sanandaj, Kermanshah, and Tehran.
Before his execution, Kamangar wrote a letter and smuggled out of prison in which he detailed his torture, including threats of sexual violence.
Ali Saremi, had spent 32 years of his life in the prisons of the Shah and the Islamic Republic, was sentenced to “enmity with God” for ties with the PMOI and was executed in Evin Prison in December 2010.
Zaniar Moradi, Loghman Moradi and Ramin Hossein Panahi, were three Kurd men who were hanged in September 2018. Their trials were “grossly unfair” marred by “serious torture allegations.”
Gholamreza Khosravi Savajani, sentenced to death for «enmity against God» (moharebeh), was executed on June 1, 2014, in Raja’i Shahr Prison of Karaj. He was arrested in 2008 in Rafsanjan, Kerman Province, in connection with his support of the PMOI (People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran) TV station Sima-ye Azadi (Voice of Freedom).
Iran holds the world record in number of executions per capita. According to Amnesty International: “more than half (51%) of all recorded executions in 2017 were carried out in Iran.”
These executions and punishments based on Sharia Law are the blatant violation of human rights and the International Conventions signed by the Iranian regime.
Four decades of the clerical regime’s rule in Iran has left thousands of victims through widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment with impunity.
Despite the regimes who deny the use of torture, it has been institutionalized in their punishment laws and is sanctioned by the Judiciary as well as the regime officials.
Judicial authorities have continued to impose and carry out, at times in public, cruel and inhuman punishments amounting to torture such as eye gouging, amputation and flogging. Several stoning sentences were said to have been issued and carried out during the past decades.
Moreover, commonly reported methods of torture and prison abuse have included beating with batons and metal bars and electric shocks, tying the victims to a pole in cold or hot weather, mock execution, denying ill prisoners medical access, sleep deprivation, prolonged solitary confinement, etc.
Male and female prisoners have also frequently reported sexual insults and threats of rape being used against them.
After the 2009 disputed elections which saw the arrests of thousands of street protesters, hundreds of people were taken to the little known Kahrizak Detention Center. It was there that reports of rape, sexual abuse, and torture of prisoners emerged earning it the nickname, Iran’s Guantánamo Bay, by protesters.
Human rights organizations, and specifically Amnesty International, have issued constant warnings to the regime’s authorities, with statements condemning torture and prisoner abuse.
Iranian authorities however, have not been shy to defend the use of torture under the name of Islam and God.
Most recently, in outrageous remarks, Iranian regime attorney general Mohammad Jaffar Montazeri stressed that human rights have no place in the Islamic Republic and emphasized the need to continue the outdated rules the mullahs have imposed on the Iranian people under the name of Islam and God. Among these rules are punishments for gouging eyes and severing hands and feet.
Montazeri said, “The execution of hudud (religious punishments) can’t be stopped. We can’t give in to pressures imposed by those who falsely claim to be defending human rights and stop the hudud.”
Dozens of protesters, activists and even environmentalists have been killed in prisons. Some have been killed under torture, while others have mysteriously passed away.
Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer, was raped, tortured and killed by Iranian officials following her arrest in Iran in 2003.
Taraneh Mousavi, 28, arrested for protesting the 2009 election results, died after being sexually abused while in custody.
Amir Javadi Far, tortured to death in the notorious Kahrizak Detention Center for protesting 2009 election results.
Sattar Beheshti, 35, a blogger who was tortured to death in early November 2012.
He was arrested at his home in Robat Karim, southwest of the Iranian capital, on October 30 by Iran’s cyberpolice for what authorities said were “actions against national security on social networks and Facebook.”
Saro Ghahremani, arrested during the nationwide protests of December 2017, and was killed in prison just a few days later. The authorities claimed that he was shot during the course of an armed confrontation with security forces.
His family also disputed the official claim, saying that he was arrested during the protests and his body bore marks of torture.
Sina Ghanbari, was also arrested during the nationwide December 2017 protests and killed in prison.
Officials said that he was “a drug addict” without elaborating on how this claim, even if true, was relevant to the circumstances of his death. His family was warned against speaking to the media and human rights groups and put under pressure to cancel the arrangements for a memorial ceremony that would be open to the public.
Vahid Heydari, was arrested in 2018 protests and died in early January under suspicious circumstances in Arak prison in Markazi province.
The authorities did not stop at harassing his family to remain silent. They also arrested a human rights lawyer, Mohammad Najafi, in reprisal for exposing Heydari’s death in custody and reporting that his body bore marks of torture and other ill-treatment, including cuts and bruises.