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Saturday 11 March 2017
IRAN: Annual report on the death penalty 2016
The 9th annual report of Iran Human Rights (IHR) on the death penalty gives an assessment and analysis of death penalty trends in 2016 in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The 9th annual report of the organization Iran Human Rights (IHR) on the death penalty in Iran shows that in 2016 at least 530 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although this number is significantly lower than the annual execution numbers in the past five years, Iran, with an average of more than one execution per day, remains in 2016 the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
Commenting on the relative decrease in the 2016 execution figures, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director and spokesperson of IHR said: “We welcome any reduction in the use of the death penalty. But unfortunately there are no indications that the relative decrease in the number of the executions in 2016 was due to a change in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy. Our reports show that in just the first two months of 2017 Iranian authorities have executed at least 140 people.”
On the occasion of the launch of the 2016 annual report on the death penalty in Iran, the organizations Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM (Ensemble contre la peine de mort) call on Iran’s European dialogue partners to push for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Iran and for major reforms in the country’s judicial system which does not at this time meet minimum international standards.
The report puts special focus on the role of the Revolution Courts as a major source of arbitrariness and of violations of due process in the Iranian judicial system. The Revolution Courts are responsible for the vast majority of the death sentences issued and carried out over the last 37 years in Iran. According to IHR’s 2016 report, at least 64% of all executions in 2016 and more than 3200 executions since 2010, have been based on death sentences issued by the Revolution Courts. The Revolution Courts are less transparent than the Public Courts, and Revolutionary Court judges are known for the abuse of their legal powers. Trials lasting less than 15 minutes, lack of access to a chosen lawyer, and sentences based on confessions extracted under torture are the hallmarks of the Revolution Courts.
On the issue of lack of due process Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “A sustainable reduction in the use of the death penalty is impossible as long as there is no due process. Revolution Courts which sentence hundreds of people to death every year are among the key institutions responsible for Iran’s violations of due process and must be shut down.”
The executive director of ECPM, Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan said: “We call on every democratic State and all Iran’s European partners to make serious efforts to reduce the death penalty in Iran, and to include Human Rights, and especially the situation of the death penalty in Iran, in their bilateral and multilateral dialogues. It is only with constant and permanent pressure in the dialogue with Iran that a good outcome can be achieved.”
IHR and ECPM also call on the Iranian authorities to release Ms. Narges Mohammadi immediately. Narges Mohammadi was sentenced by the Revolution Court to 16 years in prison, 10 of those years for establishment of an abolitionist campaign. The human rights groups also call for an end to the crackdown on civil society and the prosecution of peaceful civil activists.