Iran is the second most prolific executioner in the world after China
By; Judith Bergman
On the UN's Human Rights Day, observed December 10, an Iranian woman was sentenced to death by stoning in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran is believed to have imposed death by stoning on at least 150 people, according to the International Committees against Execution and Stoning.
"Stoning," Iranian human rights activist Shabnam Assadollahi said, "is an act of torture. There are 15 countries in which stoning is either practiced and authorized by law or tolerated. One of those 15 countries is Iran. The last known execution by stoning was in 2009. In Iran under the Islamic law, stonings, hangings, and executions are legal torture.
"In Islam under Sharia law, the stoning (Rajm) is commonly used as a form of capital punishment, called Hudud," Assadollahi explained.
"Under the Islamic Law, it is the ordained penalty in cases of adultery committed by a married man or married woman with others who are not her/his legal partner. Stoning is carried out by a crowd of Muslims who follow the Sharia law by throwing stones (small and large) at a convicted person until she or he is killed. The international community must pressure Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, and other countries where stoning is legally carried or tolerated. Why cannot the public loudly cry out and advocate for women oppressed by those regimes?"
Instead of cries of outrage, the West, in the wake of the nuclear "deal" Iran has not even signed, has been scrambling to ingratiate itself with the Iranian regime. Countries such as France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland have barely been able to contain themselves at the prospect of doing business with them. It has been years since the Europeans could legally engage in trade with the murderous regime of the mullahs, who still cry, "Death to Israel, Death to America" -- the "Little Satan" and the "Great Satan' -- and they have not been wasting time.
In fact, the P5+1 negotiators (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) had just finished signing the "deal" with themselves, when Germany's Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, hurried himself and a group of representatives from German companies and industry groups onto a plane for a visit to Iran.
The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, who usually knows better, likewise, found it "... completely normal that after this historic deal was signed, France and Iran should restart normal relations."
Before the sanctions took effect in 2011, French companies such as Renault and Peugeot were making billions of euros from their involvement with Iran's auto industry. Similarly, the French company Total was heavily involved in the oil sector. France was evidently not going to miss a beat in bringing this lucrative trade back to la République.
How ironic that the country of "liberté, egalité and fraternité" finds it "completely normal" to have normal diplomatic and trade relations with a country that treats its own citizens, especially women, worse than the mud under the mullah's feet; that executes whoever disagrees with the regime, and that hangs homosexuals from cranes. How ironic that Europeans have no problem stuffing themselves with syrupy Iranian dates exported by this smiling regime, knowing full well that there are thousands of Iranian prisoners being tortured in Iranian prisons while awaiting their execution day.
Iranian authorities are believed to have executed 694 people between January 1 and July 15, 2015 -- an average of three executions a day. Since the election of the "moderate" President Hassan Rouhani in 2013, the number of executions has markedly gone up. According to a July 2015 Amnesty International report:
"Death sentences in Iran are particularly disturbing because they are invariably imposed by courts that are completely lacking in independence and impartiality. They are imposed either for vaguely worded or overly broad offences, or for acts that should not be criminalized at all, let alone attract the death penalty. Trials in Iran are deeply flawed, detainees are often denied access to lawyers in the investigative stage, and there are inadequate procedures for appeal, pardon and commutation."
The report goes on to state that the majority of those put to death in 2015 were people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who were convicted on drug charges. "This is in direct breach of international law, which restricts the use of the death penalty to only the 'most serious crimes' – those involving intentional killing. Drug-related offences do not meet this threshold."
Among those executed in Iran this year are members of ethnic and religious minorities convicted of "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth." These include Kurdish political prisoners and Sunni Muslims. On August 26, 2015, Behrouz Alkhani, a 30-year-old man from Iran's Kurdish minority, was executed despite awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal.
Iran is the second most prolific executioner in the world after China, according to Amnesty International's latest global death penalty report.
Iran also tops the global list statistically for executioners of juvenile offenders, even though it is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which prohibit the imposition of the death penalty against persons who were below 18 years of age at the time of the crime, without exception. (Of course Iran was also a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it also violated repeatedly.) Iran continues to impose the death penalty against juvenile offenders, frequently deferring the execution until after they pass the age of 18. In 2015, at least four juvenile offenders are believed to have been executed: Javad Saberi, Vazir Amroddin, Samad Zahabi and Fatemeh Salbehi.
Iran is scheduled to be reviewed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child on January 11-12, 2016. The Committee has already expressed deep concerns about the use of death penalty against juvenile offenders and asked Iran to provide information on the progress and outcome of the cases of juvenile offenders undergoing re-trial.
Despite all the atrocities that Iran commits towards its citizens, women hold a special place of denigration and humiliation in Iranian society. Young women are reported brutally arrested by the thousand every week for not wearing a "proper hijab." A woman in Iran is de facto first her father's property, then after marriage, her husband's property. According to the UN Secretary General's February 2015 Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, child marriage is prevalent. The legal age of marriage for girls is 13; some as young as 9 may be married by permission of the court. In 2011, about 48,580 girls between the age of 10 and 14 were married; in 2012, there were at least 1,537 girls under the age of 10 who were reportedly married. Pedophilia is thereby widespread and legal.
Married women may not work, attend sporting events or leave the country without their husband's permission. When arrested, they suffer unspeakable torture in prison. Rape is commonly used as torture in prison against both women and men.
Forced "virginity testing" is also commonly used in prison, a serious violation of international law. It violates women's and girls' human rights to physical integrity, dignity, privacy and right to be free from torture and cruel and inhuman and degrading treatment. According to Amnesty International, satirical cartoonist Atena Farghadani, held in prison since January 2015, was sentenced in June 2015 to twelve years and nine months in prison for her peaceful activism, including meeting with families of political prisoners, and for drawing a satirical cartoon depicting legislators as monkeys, cows, and other animals. The cartoon was to protest a bill that sought to criminalize voluntary sterilization and restrict access to contraception and family planning services.
In December 2014, when Farghadani was out on bail, she released a video message on YouTube, detailing how female prison guards at Evin prison had beaten her, verbally abused her and forced her to strip naked for body searches. She was rearrested in January 2015, and in the fall of 2015 she was forced to undergo a "virginity and pregnancy test" prior to her trial. The charge? "Illegitimate sexual relations" for having shaken hands with her lawyer.
Iran nevertheless won a top seat on the U.N.'s Commission on the Status of Women in April 2014. Not a single UN member, not even the US, objected, to that election.
An exhaustive account of the atrocities that the Iranian regime continues to commit against its own people would require volumes. Nevertheless, the West, seems to remain unfazed in furthering its lucrative relations with the murderous regime.
Those politicians and executives scrambling to do business with the mullahs should realize that Iran's intercontinental ballistic missiles can tomorrow be aimed at them. Those who comfort themselves with the thought that Iran only wants to annihilate Israel might do well to think again. Iran has tested a two-stage solid-fuel missile, the Sejjil-2, with a range of more than 2,000 km, allowing it to target southeastern Europe. In addition, Iran recently unveiled the Soumar cruise missile, reportedly a reverse-engineered version of the Russia's Raduga Kh-55 -- which was designed as a nuclear delivery system. It has a claimed range of 2,500-3,000 km.
Nevertheless, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has acceded to Iran's demands to close its 12-year investigation into whether Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program. The IAEA produced a report earlier this month that strongly suggested Iran did have a nuclear weapons program for the years up until 2003.
The West clearly not only fails to care about the plight of the Iranians -- it does not even care about its own populations being within Iranian missile range.
Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.
|They almost succeeded in a few days to collect one million signatures against the Gender Apartheid Islamic laws, but the oppressors barged in to their homes, beat them up in front of their husbands and children, arrested, imprisoned and tortured them. The signatures were confiscated and destroyed.||They whole heartedly participated in the constitutional revolution and gave their lives for freedom. But they were betrayed by their men who wrote the new constitution in 1906. The family affairs were left under the control of the powerful Muslim clergies. Soon after, the women established an under ground organization called; “the secret society of the ladies” and continued their struggle for equal rights. By 1972 the women of Iran had finally accomplished what they had set out to do in 1888, but it was short lived and Moslem clergies took it all away when their Islamic revolution succeeded in 1979. Today; the next generations of Iranian women are continuing their struggle this time it will be a permanent freedom.
| A few of the brave mothers who's children were killed by the Islamic regime. They were arrested, beaten up and imprisoned for posing for this photo.
Gharchak prison is one of the prisons in Iran to hold especially female prisoners with general crimes. The prison is located in the eastern deserts nearby the capital city of Iran that its geographical location of the prison caused difficult conditions of prisoners to visit their loved ones.
The prison is reportedly held the criminal prisoners including murders, armed robbers and drug traffickers which is estimated more than 1.200 inmates.
Some of women political prisoners including Atena Faraghdani, Hakimeh Shokri, Roya Saberinejad, Ghonche Ghavami, Shabnam Madadzadeh, Negar Haeri … had been exiled to the prison to bear more pressure after excruciating life among criminal prisoners they have undergone.
“It is a prison after all. It is not a five-star hotel. My wife says it would have been better if she was sent to Evin. But I don’t think so. Of course, I hope that Evin would be better than Gharchak Prison as I have seen it” as Marzieh Vafamehr, an Iranian filmmaker and actress, told her husband Nasser Taghvai has acknowledged the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“Prisoners of Conscience Will Not Be Transferred to Gharchak Prison, Says Sotoudeh’s Husband Reza Khandan to the campaign.”
The report has mentioned excruciating life of prisoners in Gharchak prison which has been hidden from the perspective of Human Rights activists.
Gharchak prison was originally a chicken farm, then turned into a drug rehabilitation center nearly 4 years ago. In April of 2011 transfer of female prisoners from Rajai Shahr and notorious Evin prison had been begun.
The prison consistent of ten halls build to hold prisoners which divided into two parts; the jail where monitoring by the Bureau of Prisons and counseling in the prison.
The prison section included four wards which known as hall as the worst part of the prison.
First hall of the section is placed the prisoners who are convicted to long term imprisonment which estimated more than 15 years due to drug-related crimes.
The second one is occupied by short term imprisonment of the prisoners who are suspended by the tribunal of the regime in no date for trial. “They are generally sentenced to prison less than 15 years” Shiva Ganji said.
The third one is especially for the criminals who have been convicted on the charge of murder, robbery, brothels operating, fraud, forging and adultery.
The fourth hall which is known suspension section for the inmates are suspended, and they have not been still sentenced. The hall is the worst one in the prison hold the inmates who came lately. The number of the inmates are nearly 260-270 that 90% of them are addicted. However, there are no more than 90 bed what led them to sleep on the ground.
Shiva had answered smoking and self-harm is not illegal in the halls when I asked her about the condition in the sections.
She added that the other halls are for consultation which chaired by Mohammad-Baqer qalibaf the mayor of the capital of Iran.
The women rights activist has expressed that the fifth hall is also used to keep the prisoners in suspension, although, there are significant differences as hygiene and cleanness. The prisoners are divided with the others due to their appropriate behavior affirmed by prison officials.
The sixth and seventh halls are motley hold the definitive convicts in the short term imprisonment.
The eighth one known “Mothers Ward” including ten pregnant women and 20 children who are not more than three-years-old living with their mothers. The children are fed with rice milk two times per week, on every Thursday both mothers and children are given a Danish Pastries.
Two other halls are holding the prisoners who sentenced to death on execution row including 63 inmates on the charge of murder.
All the halls are covered with poor carpet that inmates suffer the colors. Fourteen rooms form the halls which divided by bed-seated, whereas, 12 inmates are kept in a room with four three-floor bed seated, so that, there is no place to seat or to eat.
The prison has not water piping as Shiva said. Water is sterilized by a very high percentage chlorine which causes the loss of color when the inmates wash their clothes. 90% of the prisoners cannot buy mineral water due to poor financial.
There are only 12 unclean toilets for all halls; moreover, the consultation hall including 70 inmates have just four bathrooms.
“Unfortunately the nutritional condition is indescribable as the prisoners have frequently expressed concern about quality and time of the feeding division.” Shiva has mentioned about the lack of vitamins and protein in food, however, noted the food dilemma both quality-quantity as uncooked beans, no dairy, etc.
The inmates have frequently seen “cockroaches” in food which is informed from many prisons in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
But it is not the end of the hardness of the prisoners in Ghrachak; drug dealing is the other tragedy which shocks Human Rights activists when the reports disclosed by Shiva Ganji.
Crystal Meth is used by some of the prisoners which led them sleeplessness and nervous cause the interior clashes between them that officials have blind their eyes to the events have done in the prison.
Unaccountable H.I.V and Hepatitis statistics in the prison have increased concern among the reports which received by Human Rights activists. This makes the prison situation even more unbearable.
Rape is the other norm in the prison is suffered by the feeble inmates, however, the officials have blinded their eyes on the misfortune. The head of the gang leads the rabble prisoners to stuck the victims to rape at midnight.
The prisoners who are on death row use sedative pills which led them to sleep all day in the first hall of consultation that known “the hall of the dead” as Shiva said.
The prison clinic is weak for medical treatment and moreover, the prisoners have to wait on the row for dentist and ophthalmologist more than three months on their own coast.
Gharchak prison never has appropriate temperature both winter-summer due to no heater and air-condition available there.
Many reports have been received from prisons throughout Iran about the lack of health care facilities, clean water, poor nutrition, and sanitation.
These reports have been received from Karoon, Adel Abad, Bandar Abbas, Vakil Abad and many other prisons in Iran.
By: Kaveh Taheri
Two Iranian women one inside Iran and one actor outside Iran.
One is protecting her face from Acid throwing thugs unleashed by the regime, the other has fled the tyranny to be free.
One lives under the laws of slavery as the property of men, the other displays her pride and independence.
IFEX Thursday 18th February, 2016
Children's rights defender Atena Daemi was released from prison in Iran on 15 February in the midst of a 14-year sentence for her peaceful human rights activities. She paid a heavy bail of 700 million Tomans (approximately US$232,000), according to reports, which also stated that the 14-year sentence is still in effect.
On 20 November 2015, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) joined Front Line Defenders, the Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPP) and other NGOs to call for the freedom of Daemi and another children's rights defender, Saeed Shirzad, who was sentenced to five years in prison last year.
According to the joint appeal, Daemi "set up training classes for street children and organised painting exhibitions to raise awareness about the issue of street children in Iran. She also participated in demonstrations in solidarity with children in Kobani and Gaza."
Daemi was arrested at home on 21 October 2014 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and taken to the notorious Evin prison, where she was initially held in solitary confinement for three months.
t the system." Other charges included allegedly "concealing evidence" and "insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Supreme Leader."
Iran upholds 16-year sentence for anti-death penalty campaigner Narges Mohammadi
Narges Mohammadi had been sentenced in May on charges of violating national security and acting against the Islamic regime through her support of an anti-death penalty campaign.
As vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, Mohammadi gained attention in 2014 for defending women who had acid thrown on them in the city of Esfahan, purportedly for dressing immodestly.
While jailed this summer at Tehran’s Evin Prison, she staged a 20-day hunger strike in protest of authorities who barred her from speaking by phone with her family.
Mohammadi is mother to 9-year-old twins, who live in France with their father. Friends say she suffers from a chronic illness that causes partial paralysis, which has worsened due to her imprisonment.
The appeals court in Tehran upheld Mohammadi’s sentence following a hearing in the case last week.
“It is shocking for me as a human rights lawyer that a fellow lawyer with children would be sentenced to jail for even one day,” said Nasrin Sotoudeh, a colleague who served three years in jail until being released in 2013.
“She has committed no crime but doing her legal work. Is it wrong to defend the victims of violence?”
Mahmoud Behzadi, Mohammadi's lawyer, said his client had not decided whether to appeal to Iran's Supreme Court.
Amnesty International and other human rights groups have assailed Mohammadi’s treatment as an example of how Iranian authorities use broad national security laws to punish dissidents or those seen as hostile to the conservative theocracy.
Human rights activists and dual nationals continue to be imprisoned during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate whose 2013 election had raised hopes of an easing of Iran’s harsh security laws.
Mohammadi is a supporter of the Campaign for Step by Step Abolition of the Death Penalty, known by its Persian acronym, Legam. Iran is one of the world’s leading practitioners of capital punishment, putting to death an estimated 1,000 people last year, many for drug offenses.
Last month, Iran put to death a teenager who was convicted of a crime when he was 17. Approximately 160 minors are on death row in Iran, according to Amnesty International.
Siavash Ramesh, a 28-year-old political activist, said Mohammadi’s sentence shows the Iranian regime won’t tolerate criticism of its death penalty laws.
“They sentenced her to give a warning to human rights activists and give her a lesson not to trespass against the regime’s imposed red lines,” Ramesh said.
Tala Raassi was almost shot in the streets of Iran for wearing a mini-skirt to her sweet-16th birthday party.
The Iranian-American woman managed to escape death that night, but endured five torturous nights in prison, and 40 court ordered lashings for her crime.
Years later, Ms Raassi has opened up about the horrific experience, and how it motivated her to become a fashion designer and campaign for women's freedom of choice.
Although she was now a successful business woman, designing clothes for women across the world, Ms Raassi said she was unable to forget the sheer terror she felt in Tehran, the capital of Iran.
Ms Raassi said it was 1998 when her birthday party was stormed by The Basijis, a militant group who considered itself a defender of Islam.
When the militant group busted their way in to the house, Ms Raassi said her and two friends knew their lives were in danger, and decided to run.
Fuelled by fear, Ms Raassi said the girls bolted down the street only steps ahead of the gun wielding Basij men.
But Ms Raassi and her friends were unable to outrun them, and soon found themselves face to face with the group, staring down the barrel of rifles aimed directly at them.
Ms Raassi had no choice but to surrender, she told The Australian.
That night, the 16-year-old was told she was a disgrace and taken to one of the most notoriously dangerous prisons in the country, Vozara Prison.
Together with friends from the party, Ms Raassi spent five torturous days and nights in the prison, locked in a 'bleak pit'.
After days with no clue what was in store for them, Ms Raassi said they were lead from the prison to a courthouse for sentencing.
The fashion designer said she was reprimanded for her 'wrongdoings' before hearing the word 'shalagh', which meant lashes.
The boys were sentenced to 50 lashes, and the girls to 40.
'Some of the girls were in a state of shock, some of them bawled. We were all petrified,' she said.
Ordered to lie face down on a bed, Ms Raassi recalled the moment a whip, soaked in water for maximum effect, lashed across her back.
Rendered silent from the pain, Ms Raassi said the punishment she endured was 'excruciating'.
Now 18 years later, Ms Raassi said she wanted to use her experience for good.
And with the message 'Fashion is Freedom', the American based designer wanted to empower women.
The designer said her clothing line represented much more than just fashion, it celebrated a woman's choice to dress herself in whatever she wanted, without fear.