Mass executions continue in Iran
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on February 4th said: “We have urged Iran, time and again, to halt executions. I am very dismayed that instead of heeding our calls, the Iranian authorities appear to have stepped up the use of the death penalty. (1)”
This was 33 days ago. Since then, recently, Iran executed a 16 years old child and his friend accused of murder. Iran today is the only country in the world that still executes minors (2). Iran is the leading country in the world in executing people per capita. In the name of rape, drug related charges, pornography, enemy of God and multiple other accusations. Iran has since the beginning 2011 executed over 231 people (3). What is as alarming in this spree of executions is that the execution of Kurdish activists, without fair trials and following torture, increasingly appears as a systematic, politically motivated process. (4)
The Kurds, who make up approximately 7 to 12% of Iran’s total population, are greatly deprived of cultural and linguistic rights. Within the governmental institutions in the Kurdish-populated areas, or any other institutions, the Kurdish language is prohibited. Unemployment in the Kurdish regions remains among the highest across Iran and the region is among the least developed. Activists who spread awareness of the problems and concerns are often met with extreme punishment, and have in many cases, become victims like Mr. Farhad Tarom, Mr. Hossein Khezri, Mr. Farzad Kamanger, Ms. Shirin Alam Hooli, Mr. Ali Heydarian, Mr. Farhad Vakili, and many others who have been executed.