“Be Our Voice” against executions in Iran Campaign

Written by ACI in 3 February 10

“Be Our Voice!”

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London, 3 February 2010 – On 27 January 2010, a young man was executed in Iran. At the time of his alleged offence he could not have been more than 16 or 17. He is the first juvenile offender convicted and executed on political charges. He made his ‘confession’ under duress while watching his pregnant sister being threatened by security forces. She later lost the baby. Arrested two months before the elections, he confessed to organising events after the June 2009 elections because he was promised with a light sentence if he accepted all the charges. He practiced his lines in his small cell every night before attending the show trials of summer 2009 – trials where his defence lawyer was threatened with arrest if she insisted on defending him. Arash Rahmanipour was only twenty years old when he was executed.

Dancing the dance death at the end of the rope next to Arash Rahmanipour was Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani. He met with the same fate. Also arrested two months before the elections, his cellmate wrote, ‘Mohammad Reza would ask me about events following the elections because he had no idea what was going on outside the prison walls’. His cellmate added that Mohammad Reza was taken out of the cell everyday to practice his lines for the show trials. Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani was also promised a light sentence if he performed in court. Against the Islamic Republic’s internal laws and procedural codes, the two men were executed while their conviction of enmity against God was undergoing the appeals process and their lawyers and families were not notified of the executions. They found out the tragic news through the media. The world condemned the two executions.

We, the undersigned, express grave concern at the ongoing violation of rights for all those detained before and after the June 2009 elections, the increase in the use of violence against protesters and prisoners, the immediate risk of execution for nine people with confirmed death sentences and of another five death sentences being issued subsequent to the present show trials. While condemning the death penalty as a punishment irrespective of whether it is according to Sharia law or otherwise, we express our grave concern for the very real threat of harm and execution facing the seven detained members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters in particular Kouhyar Goodarzi and Mehrdad Rahimi, two human rights activists who have also been charged with ‘enmity against God’. We also express serious concern over the fate of the detained members of the Baha’i community and the imminent threat of execution.

We, the undersigned, believe that all Iranians without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status are equal and for this reason we condemn all cases of execution throughout Iran and commit to full and mutual support for each other

We, the undersigned, invite all individuals, groups, organizations, parties and human rights activists and organizations to join us in condemning the use of the ultimate violence, the death penalty, in Iran. With your help we can employ global networks and opportunities in order to support the persecuted in Iran and end executions that are taking place all over Iran today.

May we be the voice of the voiceless in Iran who are the helpless victims of systematic and escalating state sponsored violence…

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