Washington DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) condemns a decision by the Iranian Justice Ministry to impose death sentences on three Iranians for allegedly participating in post-election protests. The three sentenced to execution, Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, Arash Pour-Rahmani, and Hamed Rouhinejad, were not given adequate access to legal representation during their trials, and were coerced into giving “confessions” that were the basis for their sentences, according to Amnesty International.
This announcement came within days of the execution of Behnoud Shojaii, a juvenile offender who was hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison on October 11. Shojaii was under the age of 18 when sentenced to death.
Iran ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1994 which explicitly forbids the practice of executing juveniles, however executions have continued in Iran to such an extent that Tehran is the world’s leader in the practice. In 2004, the judiciary proposed to effectively end the practice of executing minors; however, it was largely ignored by judges and officials. In recent years, Iran has come under increased scrutiny by human rights organizations for this gross human rights abuse, among many others.
NIAC calls on the Iranian government to impose a moratorium on executions, to halt its campaign of repression against defenders of human rights and gender equality, and to release all prisoners of conscience including those detained after the elections.
The Iranian-American community is gravely concerned about the state of human rights in Iran since the violent crackdown on post-election protests this summer. Iranian-Americans are united in their desire for the Iranian government to uphold its commitment to respect freedom of speech, assembly and association.
NIAC remains deeply concerned about the treatment of political prisoners in Iran.