Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was once single-handedly the most significant factor in damaging Iran’s global image with his inflammatory statements denying the Holocaust. But that has now given way to the alarmingly high level of capital punishment.
News of positive developments in Iran is punctuated every so often by the execution of a new group of people. Mohammad-Javad Larijani, the head of Iran’s state-run high council for human rights, has indicated that there are efforts to take a new law to parliament that will result in “almost 80% of the executions” going away but it is unclear if that effort is serious.
Most people executed are sentenced to death for drug offences, with trials widely condemned as unfair. Sotoudeh said too many cases have only one judge presiding from the beginning to the end when a death sentence is issued without judgments being challenged or thoroughly examined. It emerged last month that the entire adult male population of a village in southern Iran had been executed for drug offences, said the vice-president for women and family affairs.
According to Amnesty International, Iran remains a prolific executioner, second only to China. In 2014, at least 753 people were hanged, of whom more than half were drug offenders. In 2015, the group said it had recorded “a staggering execution rate” in the country, “with nearly 700 people put to death in the first half of the year alone”. It said in a report published in January that 73 juvenile offenders had been executed between 2005 and 2015. One, Amir Amrollahi, is currently on death row even though he committed the crime when he was 16.
Not everyone on death row in Iran is a drug smuggler. Mohammad Ali Taheri, who has been held in solitary confinement since May 2011, is facing death for “spreading corruption on earth” through establishing a spiritual group called Erfan-e Halgheh and promoting beliefs and practices that authorities deem un-Islamic.
from an article that was published originally here
FB March 5, 2016