Tuesday, October 16, 2012
A group of i
ndependent United Nations human rights experts has called on Iran to immediately halt all executions, particularly the 11 that were scheduled for Saturday, and establish a moratorium with the aim of abolishing the death penalty. “We urge the Iranian authorities to stop the executions of Saeed Sedeghi and 10 other individuals scheduled for Saturday, 13 October,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, and on torture, Juan E. Méndez.
Mr. Sedeghi was sentenced to death on 2 June 2012 for drug-related offences. According to available information, Mr. Sedeghi did not receive a fair trial and was subjected to torture during his detention, according to a news release from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). “Any death sentence must comply with international obligations related to the stringent respect of fair trial and due process guarantees, as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a State party,” the experts stressed. “In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, the sentence of death can be imposed only for the most serious crimes, which do not include drug crimes. Cases that do not meet these standards are tantamount to arbitrary executions,” noted the experts, who are tasked by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council with examining and reporting back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.
Over 300 people are known to have been executed since the beginning of 2012, the majority in respect of drug-related activities. A large number is reportedly on death row, and face risk of imminent execution.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)