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Death sentences and executions in 2013

“crimes”, among others, “adultery while married”, “apostasy” and “sodomy” – acts which do not meet the international standard of “most serious crimes”, but which should also not be considered crimes at all. In May then-President Ahmadinejad signed into law revisions to the Islamic Penal Code, which among other things maintained stoning as punishment for the “crime” of “adultery”. The majority of those executed were convicted of drug offences which are tried in Revolutionary Courts. These proceedings routinely fall far short of international fair trial standards; they are frequently held behind closed doors, sometimes only last hours or even minutes, and judges have the discretion to restrict lawyers’ access to the defendant. There is also no right to a meaningful appeal under Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Law. In April and November respectively, Denmark and Ireland ended financial support for an anti-drug programme in Iran – administered by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime – due to concerns over the increased use of the death penalty for drug offences in recent years. Death sentences are typically imposed following proceedings that violate fair trial standards. During the pre-trial phase, this includes incommunicado detention, detention far exceeding time limits provided for in Iranian law, and the extraction of “confessions” through torture and other ill-treatment, which in addition are sometimes televised before a trial takes place. Although courts acknowledged that defendants retracted such “confessions” they still accepted them as evidence. Claims of torture are generally not investigated. Defendants are often denied the opportunity to have legal representation of their own choice. With regard to executions, lawyers report not being informed beforehand despite legal requirements under Iranian law that they must receive 48 hours’ notification of a client’s execution. The families of executed prisoners are not always given an opportunity for a final visit, or told the date of the executions, either in advance or after they have taken place. Often the only indication of an imminent execution is the transfer of a prisoner to solitary confinement, known as the “execution waiting room.” After the execution, families sometimes do not receive the body of their relative or any notification of the burial place. Amnesty International has documented numerous cases in which the death penalty was seemingly used to oppress activities of political or cultural representatives of Iran’s ethnic minorities, such as the Ahwazi Arab, Azerbaijani, Baluchi or Kurdish minorities.

Iranian authorities have become increasingly suspicious of Ahwazi Arabs following the unrest that broke out in 2005 in the province of Khuzestan. In January 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of five members of the Ahwazi Arab minority: Hadi Rashedi, Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, Mohammad Ali Amouri, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka. They had been arrested, together with three other men, in early 2011, ahead of the sixth anniversary of the 2005 protests, apparently in connection with their organization of cultural activities. They were sentenced to death in 2012 by a Revolutionary Court after being convicted of charges including “enmity against God”. Prior to their trial, Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Sha’bani Amouri were shown “confessing” on a state television channel. On 7 December 2013, both men were transferred to an unknown location from Karoun Prison in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province. 58 Four other Ahwazi Arab men were executed in November or December 2013 following their transfer from Karoun Prison to an unknown location on 3 November. On one weekend in late October, Iranian authorities carried out 20 executions. Among these was Habibollah

Index: ACT 50/001/2014

Amnesty International March 2014

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

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