January 28, 2010

NIAC Condemns Iranian Executions

Washington, DC – NIAC condemns in the strongest terms the Iranian government’s execution of political dissidents Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmani Pour today.  NIAC calls on the Iranian government to immediately end its campaign of politically motivated executions, release all political prisoners, and ensure that detained individuals are no longer denied the right to fair trial in accordance with international human rights standards.  NIAC also calls on the United Nations and its member states to ensure that the Iranian government upholds its obligations and is held accountable for acts committed in violation of the Iranian people’s rights.

Today’s executions demonstrate that the Iranian government is working to instill fear among Iranian citizens who continue to demand their democratic rights. Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmani Pour both were accused of involvement in anti-government organizations and convicted of “moharab,” offending God and the prophet. In just the past month, nine other activists have been convicted of “mohareb,” a charge punishable by death; two Iranian-Kurdish activists have been executed and a third has been given a death sentence. Hardline elements within the regime have introduced a bill to speed up executions of those charged with “mohareb, ” a sign that the Ahmadinejad government is escalating its efforts to crush its opponents.

In addition to immediately ending its campaign of political executions, the Iranian government must release all political prisoners that have been detained in overwhelming numbers since the disputed June elections. Reports indicate that over 3,000 individuals remain in Iranian prisons as a result of the government crackdown, and up to 1,500 individuals were detained in connection to the most recent December 27 Ashura protests.

Of the thousands of individuals who have been detained, a significant number have been restricted from access to legal counsel, including three Americans who have been detained in Iran since late July. Hundreds have disappeared into Iran’s prisons without a trace. According to Arash Rahmani Pour’s attorney, Mr. Rahmani Pour’s sentencing was carried out in secret and the men’s families were not notified until after the executions took place.

NIAC calls on the United States and all UN member states around the world to condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Iranian government and to utilize international human rights mechanisms to their fullest to ensure accountability for these acts.




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