Tuesday, October 29, 2013

For Immediate Release

Iran: Set Immediate Moratorium on Executions
18 Executed in One Day, 16 of Them ‘In Response’ to Border Attack

(Beirut, October 29, 2013) – Iran should issue an immediate moratorium on executions in light of continued revelations of unlawful or politically motivated executions following flawed trials, Human Rights Watch said today.

On October 26, 2013, the government executed 16 people in what the prosecutor said was “retaliation” for the killings of more than a dozen border guards along the Iran-Pakistan border. In unrelated incidents, rights activists also reported that authorities had executed two Kurdish prisoners without warning on the same day.

“What kind of justice system hangs 16 prisoners ‘in response’ to a recent killing of security officials, with no indication that they had anything to do with these crimes,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The retaliatory execution of 16 men should sound the alarm for an immediate moratorium on the death penalty in Iran and a massive overhaul of its flawed judicial system.”

Rights groups have documented more than 400 executions in Iran so far in 2013, with at least 125 of those carried out since the election of President Hassan Rouhani on June 14 in a judicial system that is rife with due process failures.

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