By Haidar Mukhtari
October 15, 2010
Sunday, October 10th, was the World Day Against Death Penalty. Amnesty International has said that there are still 137 counties having capital punishment but only 60 of them implement the sentence. According to the Amnesty’s report, Iran comes second after China to implement the greatest number of death penalties.
Everyday at least one person is hung in Iran mainly for the “enmity of God,” and smuggling drugs. But many say that a large number of the suspects, mainly Kurdish ones, are actually hung for political reasons
According to a report by a local rights group, that Rudaw has attained a copy, there were 402 cases of execution in Iran in 2009. The number is higher than each of 2008 and 2007 where there are 350 and 317 cases, respectively. These statistics have all been confirmed by the government.
“The number of hung people is way higher. But since the Iranian government does not officially announce it, we are not able to rely on unofficial sources,” said Mahmoud Amir Muqadam, spokesman for the Human Rights Organization of Iran.
Likewise, Kurdish outlawed opposition parties say that there are a large number of people executed by the Iranian Government secretly.
Aram Mudaris, a member of the Political Bureau of the Kurdistan Tailors’ Movement, known as Komala, says that “Iran would implement more death penalties, if international sanctions are lifted on it.”
Tahir Mahmoudi, Erbil-based spokesman for the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, says that the reason for increasing executed tolls in Iran is that the Islamic regime has increasingly been losing “trust” and “legitimacy” of the people after the disputed elections of 2009 in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected president.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is an ideological and sectarian regime. It considers anyone opposing the government enemy of God,” said Mahmoudi. “It sees itself as the deputy of God on the Earth.”
According to local and world reports, 6 Kurds have been executed since last year for political reasons. There are 16 others behind bars waiting for the possible implementation of their death sentences.
Muqadam, with the Iranian Rights group, accused the government of being selective in announcing press releases about the people who are executed to death in Iran.
“They [government officials] have said that they would not publish all news,” said Muqadam, adding that the Iranian government executes Kurds secretly to avoid any fuss that may arise in the Kurdish cities after the killings.
“Last year when the Iranian government implemented four death penalties on Kurds, all the Kurds closed their shops in Iran as an objection to the practices. Iran feels that it doesn’t seize complete control over [Iran’s] Kurdistan,” said Muqadam.