Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, April 23, 2020—The Iranian regime has launched a new wave of executions while the novel coronavirus has engulfed the country and also spread to Iran’s prisons. Eleven inmates were hanged on Wednesday, April 22, in the prisons of Gohardasht, Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Dastgerd (Isfahan).
Loghman Ahmadpour, 30, from the city of Baneh in Kurdistan Province, western Iran, was hanged in Sanandaj, capital of this province. On Tuesday, Shayan Saeedpour, 17 at the time of his arrest, was transferred from Sanandaj Prison to Saqqez and executed there. Saeedpour was arrested after escaping prison recently and his execution was a message to all inmates intending to flee.
April 21 - Juvenile offender Shayan Saeedpour was executed this morning at Saqqez Prison, western #Iran. He was 17 & under psychiatric therapy when he murdered a man.— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) April 21, 2020
Authorities had asked Saeedpour only one question to justify his execution ruling.#HumanRights pic.twitter.com/U7NQ28XUi7
Five other inmates in Sanandaj are in solitary confinement awaiting their execution.
Seven individuals were hanged in a mass execution on Wednesday in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, located west of the Iranian capital Tehran. One of the victims had been in prison ever since the early 1990s. Two young men were also executed in Dastgerd Prison of Isfahan and one inmate was executed in Kermanshah, western Iran.
Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), emphasizing that the mullahs have brought nothing but executions, crackdown and corruption to Iran, said this regime has resorted to mass executions as means to send a message to all Iranians and prisons and establish a climate of fear in the society to maintain control over the Iranian people during the COVID-19 crisis.
Madam Rajavi once again called on the international community, especially the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, relevant UN rapporteurs, and global human rights organizations to immediately intervene in order to stop all executions in Iran, have inmates released during the coronavirus crisis and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the country’s prisons.
The mullahs’ regime has achieved nothing but suppression and executions. To terrorize the public and keep their grab on power, the mullahs are executing prisoners rather than releasing them. #FreePoliticalPrisoners #Iran pic.twitter.com/xeh27TkBR6— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) April 22, 2020
On Wednesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned the second execution of a child offender in the span of just four days by the Iranian regime.
“The executions of these two child offenders are absolutely prohibited under international human rights law,” the High Commissioner said. “Numerous United Nations bodies and experts have made it clear time and time again that the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18 at the time of the offence is strictly prohibited.”
“Despite repeated interventions and engagement by my own Office with the Government of Iran on this issue, the sentencing and executions of child offenders continue,” Bachelet said. “This is both regrettable and, given the clear illegality of these actions, reprehensible. I repeat my call on Iranian authorities to honour its international human rights obligations, immediately halt all executions of juvenile offenders and commute all such death sentences.”
“In addition,” she said, “the beating to death of Danial Zeinolabedini, while in State custody, is a grievous violation of the right to life under international human rights law.”
“The fact that two of these child offenders who have lost their lives in the past three weeks had been involved in protests driven by fear of the spread of COVID-19 in places of detention raises grave concerns about the possibility of expedited executions of other death-row prisoners who were involved in those protests,” Bachelet said.
Two UN human rights experts also condemned the mullahs’ regime for again violating international human rights law by hanging child offender Shayan Saeedpour.
"We are shocked that the Iranian authorities have once again defied their international obligations by executing a child offender," the experts said. "We have repeatedly reminded the Iranian government and judiciary that international human rights law is clear: the application of the death penalty to child offenders is strictly prohibited and its practice is an egregious violation of the right to life."
"Iran consistently claims its officials intervene in cases to prevent the death penalty being applied by asking the victims' families to accept blood money and pardon the offender. We are appalled that in this case Iranian officials allegedly promoted the application of the death penalty to a child offender," said the experts.
"We are highly disturbed that the Iranian authorities are reacting to protests in prisons over COVID-19 by using torture and ill-treatment that results in extra-judicial killings, or through executions," they said.
"We urge the Iranian Government to immediately halt all executions and for security forces to end the use of excessive force that has resulted in the loss of life and to launch independent and impartial investigations into these allegations," the UN human rights experts said.
Amnesty International also issued a statement condemning these executions.
The execution of Shayan Saeedpour in Iran for a crime committed as a child is further proof of the authorities’ total disregard for the right to life, said Amnesty International.
“Shayan Saeedpour’s execution was vengeful and cruel,” said Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The use of the death penalty against Shayan - a child with a long history of mental illness - was strictly prohibited. By proceeding with his execution despite international opposition, the Iranian authorities have yet again made a mockery of juvenile justice.
“The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and its use against people who were below the age of 18 at the time of the crime is banned under international law. Our annual Death Penalty report shows that Iran is one of a small minority of countries in the world that still use the death penalty against people in that category. This is abhorrent and must stop.”
Amnesty International recently published its annual Death Penalty report, highlighting that although there had been a fall in the total number of global executions, Iran remained the world’s second most prolific executioner after China.
Spokesperson of the European Union foreign policy issued a statement on April 21 describing the execution of Shayan Saeedpour in violation of international human rights laws.
“Death penalty sentences for and executions of juvenile offenders are inconsistent with Iran’s international obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“The European Union reaffirms its strong opposition against the application of capital punishment in any circumstance. We will continue to work for its abolition in the few remaining countries, including Iran, that still apply it.
“The death penalty violates the inalienable right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Capital punishment also fails to act as a deterrent to crime. Any miscarriages of justice are irreversible.”