The Iranian regime’s ongoing human rights violations, particularly the execution of minors and other prisoners in the recent days, and not releasing prisoners amid the coronavirus outbreak, has been condemned by the international community.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday condemned the execution of Shayan Saeedpour, the second execution of a child offender in recent days by the Iranian authorities. Mr. Saeedpour was rearrested after participating in a rebellion in Saqqez prison against prison conditions amid the coronavirus outbreak. Prior to Shayan, on 18 April, Majid Esmailzadeh was also reportedly executed in Ardabil prison in Ardabil Province. He was arrested in 2012 and convicted on a charge of murder allegedly committed when he was under 18. In addition, the death sentence for Danial Zeinolabedini, who was sentenced despite being under 18 at the time of the offence, was upheld on 2 April after he was beaten by officials in Miandoab prison in West Azerbaijan Province. He had been transferred there along with other prisoners who had rioted in Mahabad prison on 28 March in protest at prison conditions and the failure of the authorities to temporarily release them amid the coronavirus outbreak
“The executions of these two child offenders are absolutely prohibited under international human rights law. Numerous United Nations bodies and experts have made it clear time and time again that the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18 at the time of the offence is strictly prohibited,” the High Commissioner said.
“Despite repeated interventions and engagement by my own Office with the Government of Iran on this issue, the sentencing and executions of child offenders continue. This is both regrettable and, given the clear illegality of these actions, reprehensible. I repeat my call on Iranian authorities to honour its international human rights obligations, immediately halt all executions of juvenile offenders and commute all such death sentences,” she added, while referring to the fact the mullahs’ regime has been ignoring international condemnations and appeals for the regime to stop human rights violations.
“The fact that two of these child offenders who have lost their lives in the past three weeks had been involved in protests driven by fear of the spread of COVID-19 in places of detention raises grave concerns about the possibility of expedited executions of other death-row prisoners who were involved in those protests,” Bachelet said.
In addition the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on April 17, UN human rights experts, particularly Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, while referring to the regime’s mistreatment of prisoners and lack of hygienic facilities in prisons amid the coronavirus outbreak said: “Iran’s prisons have long-standing hygiene, overcrowding and healthcare problems. We urge the Iranian authorities to implement measures consistent with their obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the right of persons deprived of their liberty to be treated with humanity and with respect for their inherent dignity, and the right to life.”
In its 2019 global review of the death penalty published on April 21, Amnesty International ranked Iran under the mullahs’ regime as the “the world’s second most prolific executioner after China, where the exact number of people put to death remains a state secret.”
“Iran is second only to China in its use of the death penalty. It put to death at least 251 people in 2019, compared with at least 253 in 2018 – four of whom were below 18 at the time of the crime. However, a lack of transparency makes it difficult to confirm the real total number of executions – which may be far higher,” wrote Amnesty International in its press release.
Despite these repeated international appeals and condemnation, the Iranian regime is desperately trying to control the restive Iranian society by increasing executions and torture; even as the coronavirus continues to claim more lives due to the mullahs’ inaction and cover-up.
In another development, On Wednesday, April 22, the Iranian regime hanged at least 11 prisoners in Gohardasht, Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Dastgerd (Isfahan) prisons.
Referring to the ongoing human rights abuses by the mullahs’ regime, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), underscored that the regime had brought Iran and Iranians nothing but suppression, executions, poverty, and corruption. She said, in order to intimate and terrorize the public and contain the situation amid the coronavirus disaster, the regime has resorted to executing the prisoners instead of releasing them.
Mrs. Rajavi again called on the international community, especially the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Human Rights Council as well as relevant UN Human Rights Rapporteurs and other human rights organizations to intervene immediately to stop the executions, secure the release of prisoners, and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the regime’s prisons.
The regime’s incessant human rights abuses, along with its cover-up and inaction during the coronavirus outbreak, once again debunks the mullahs’ and their apologists’ bogus claims and efforts to depict United States sanctions as the source of all humanitarian crisis in Iran. In a nutshell, if the regime and its officials cared for people’s lives, they would have never increased the level of suppression and would be able to tell the truth about the coronavirus epidemic and its rising death toll.
Domestic human rights violations and export of terrorism abroad are the regime’s two pillars of existence, therefore, the regime is unable to stop them for a moment because it would result in its immediate downfall, especially after the Iran protests and people’s unanimous demand for regime change. The regime’s existence, with its warmongering policies and oppressive measures, particularly amid the coronavirus outbreak is indeed a mortal threat for both Iranian people and for regional and international peace and security.
Therefore, as Mrs. Rajavi has said: “Today, not only the freedom of the people of Iran, but their very lives and health, and the country’s economy and existence depends on the overthrow of the clerical regime.”