Don’t let them murder us

“This is my last appeal to you: The prison guards are right behind the door. They have come to take us. Be the voice of our suppressed voice! Don’t let them murder us.” These were the last words Mina Ahadi heard from a prisoner on death row in Rajaaishahr prison. She heard the guards raid the ward and the call was disconnected abruptly.

Mohammad Mardani, Rajaaishahr prison’s warden, called on the ward where the Sunni prisoners sentenced to execution were held on 29 September to let them know a judge had ordered their transfer to solitary cells. Mardani read out the names of twenty prisoners. Six other prisoners had previously been transferred to Ghezelhesaar prison. Mardani also threatened the prisoners that should they not go peacefully, they would be taken forcibly and with broken limbs.

Mina talked to the prisoners awaiting their execution and heard he prison guards about to bust in to take the prisoners. She could hear the prisoners shouting in the midst of a commotion: “we won’t go; we won’t go.” One of them told her: “if we are completely cut off from the outside world, let everyone know that we were forcibly taken to the gallows. Please be the voice of our suppressed voice! Don’t let them murder us!”

Of the 117 Sunni prisoners held in this ward, twenty were on death row. They were taken either to solitary confinement or to Ghezelhesaar prison. The regime apparently intends to execute the 26 together. [Read more...]

Rouhani smiles abroad whilst executions stepped up in Iran

Whilst Rouhani smiles abroad, executions have been stepped up in Iran according to Mina Ahadi and the International Committee against Execution. Since the election at least 213 prisoners have been executed. 27 were executed in the past two weeks. There are plans to execute 26 political prisoners imminently.

Rouhani was quoted saying he wanted to empty the prisons – it seems the regime intends to do so via executions…

Here Shahin Najafi and Majid Kazemi sing against executions as should we all.

Guardian’s all excited again

The Guardian is all excited about the “election” of Hassan Rowhani in Iran. They think (and there is some truth in it) that we are afflicted with (even recent) historical amnesia. They did the same song and dance for Rafsanjani and Khatami and now Rowhani.

Whilst the regime has stepped up its executions in order to stifle dissent and the exploding anti-Islamic backlash, the Guardian-ites celebrate Rowhani who by the way just introduced his cabinet – which wait for it – includes Ali Younesi – who was head of intelligence for another “reformer” Khatami and who was involved in the executions of 1362 (1980s). A group of international judges has found the regime guilty of crimes against humanity during that period.

Of course Rowhani and his cabinet reads like a most wanted list but what does the Guardian care? “Reformer” is all they want to hear though reform is meant to have real meaning in the real world. Maybe they can write an article about the reforms we can expect. Same old, same old doesn’t reform make.

As I’ve said before, call them “reformers”, call them “conservatives”, call them anything you want. It doesn’t change the facts.

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They – all of them – shouldn’t be “elected” or celebrated but prosecuted.

And in time, they will be….

 

 

Time to say goodbye to executions

poster2I have not been able to blog for the past ten days and have much to write about.

Most urgently I must tell you about the International Committee against Execution’s call for a two week campaign against executions in Iran during 22 July – 5 August 2013.

You can see Mina Ahadi’s report on the successful first week of the campaign in Persian here.

Execution in all instances, anywhere, is unacceptable. When the state kills it becomes a serial killer, committing premeditated murder on behalf of all society, which makes it the worst kind.

There are those who say that people who kill should be killed. However, most people on death row haven’t killed. And justice is not about retribution. Should rapists by raped and the houses of arsonists burnt to the ground with their families in them?

More importantly what this argument ignores is that the death penalty is a form of state control and intimidation. It’s meant to put people in their places and instil fear. That is as true for the regime in Iran as in China or the states that carry out the death penalty in the USA.

The regime in Iran has survived for more than 30 years by murdering citizens – young and old, men and women, and for more than 130 offences including homosexuality, enmity against god, apostasy and adultery.

Join the International Committee against Executions in saying goodbye to executions.

Tweet #NoMoreExecutions, Upload your acts of outrage and opposition to executions in Iran on social media, Email your actions to minnaahadi@gmail.com.

Not one more execution

Don’t forget that today is the international day of protest against executions and for the release of political prisoners in Iran. Join this day of protest to bring attention to and stop the state-sponsored killings. Write protest letters, join actions and rallies in your city of residence, or carry out acts of solidarity… anything that will help raise our voices in unison against the executions and torture. They must be stopped now.

You can find a list of events taking place here and here (in English).

Here’s more on why the day is important from Mina Ahadi:

In another tsunami of executions, the Islamic regime of Iran has executed 57 people in the last two weeks.

On 11 November, we received news that 35 people had been executed in Vakilabad Prison in Mashad, including a 21 year old and 4 Afghans (one of whom was a human rights campaigner). On 13 November, 8 were executed in Gohardasht prison. On 14 November, 3 were publicly executed in Arak and 1 was executed in Rejaee Shahr Prison. Currently, 3,000 people, many young, are on death row in Iran. The pretext for these killings is often drug trafficking or similar offences. [Read more...]

24 November: International Day of Protest against tsunami of executions in Iran

In another tsunami of executions, the Islamic regime of Iran has executed 57 people in the last two weeks.

On 11 November, we received news that 35 people had been executed in Vakilabad Prison in Mashad, including a 21 year old and 4 Afghans (one of whom was a human rights campaigner). On 13 November, 8 were executed in Gohardasht prison. On 14 November, 3 were publicly executed in Arak and 1 was executed in Rejaee Shahr Prison. Currently, 3,000 people, many young, are on death row in Iran. The pretext for these killings is often drug trafficking or similar offences.

Others have been killed under torture whilst in custody, including Jamil Sowaidi in Ahvaz and blogger Sattar Beheshti. Beheshti was buried in the presence of armed security forces this week. His family was effectively prevented from holding his funeral and were put under pressure not to contact international media. Political prisoners who were with Beheshti have written a joint letter attesting to his heinous torture marks. Death row prisoner Zanyar Moradi’s father recently reported that his son is again being tortured in prison whilst labour activist Shahrokh Zamani recently reported on the horrific tortures he and others have faced in prison via two letters smuggled out from prison. The maltreatment of women prisoners, including lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, has also recently been highlighted in the media. There is talk of stepping up executions from some officials.

The executions and deaths in custody are meant to intimidate the public and stifle social protests, particularly given the economic crisis and widespread poverty and opposition to the regime.

The International Committee against Executions has designated Saturday 24 November as an international day of protest against executions and for the release of political prisoners in Iran. Join this day of protest to bring attention to and stop the state-sponsored killings. Write protest letters, join actions and rallies in your city of residence, or carry out acts of solidarity… anything that will help raise our voices in unison against the executions and torture. They must be stopped now.

Mina Ahadi
International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
Email: minaahadi@aol.com
Tel: 0049 (0) 1775692413

http://notonemoreexecution.org

http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/

Expressing concern is not enough; please take action now

Mina Ahadi has written an open letter to Catherine Ashton, Vice-president and high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy about the outrageous executions taking place in Iran.

Critics of Islam, political activists and others are executed daily in Iran; in the first few days of 2012 the Islamic regime of Iran has ‘upgraded’ its body count to three per day. It is not enough to issue letters of protest. This regime must be diplomatically isolated internationally. Its representatives must be expelled from international assemblies. Its embassies must be shut down. We don’t need economic sanctions that will put further pressure on the people of Iran; we need political pressure and the diplomatic isolation of this regime so that people in Iran can bring it down. She says, it’s not enough to express concern; they need to act now. Read her letter here. [Read more...]