Persian Report by
October 14, 2010
Behrouz Javid Tehrani, the Iranian student activist who was arrested ten years ago and is currently held in Rajai Shahr prison, wrote a statement for the occasion of October 10th, the international day against executions. The text was published by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran:
By Behrouz Javid Tehrani | Translation Arash Azizi
Today [October 2, 2010] I write in the memory of the 137 cell mates and friends who I have witnessed, in the past ten years of my imprisonment, get executed for common or political crimes.
October 10th, the global day against executions, gave me an excuse to condemn this heinous and inhumane act and let you know some key points about executions.
This primitive crime that occurs in many countries has its roots in the medieval culture. If we look at the process of evolution of divine books we can see that stoning, executions (judicial killing), the amputation of body parts, and lashings took place in a time when people were nomadic and lived in desert-like conditions where they had a primordial existence.
Think about it. When the sons of Israel did not have houses and lived in tents, what type of treatment is expected for criminals and irregulars? In the time of the Arabs, who had just recently been freed from ignorance, was there any way other than lashing, cutting body parts, execution or stoning to reform and supply the brutal and backward society that mainly consisted of Bedouins? (it should be noted that stoning is not recorded in the Holy Qur’an. Stoning is carried out based on that quote Prophet Mohammad).
Now, why are we executing primordial punishments in the post-modern era? Have you ever seen the last steps of a death row prisoner? Have you tried to look into his or her eyes?
Which one do you think is more sad and ugly:
- When a criminal in a moment of madness or anger, with or without planning and with or without intelligence, ends the life of one or few.
- Acts of a group of very intelligent humans and skilled lawyers, from prosecutor to lawyers and judges and juries, who deliberate for months or years to take the life of a person.
When such an expert team allows itself to finish lives, is there room to wonder why humans with less intelligence and without organization and law would also regard killing as their right?
Poor me. I am imprisoned and do not have access to statistical resources, but what I have previously read proves that in countries where there is no capital punishment and no temporal existence the chances of a person’s life being taken away on behalf of God, law or justice, recorded crimes (especially first degree murder) is much lower. These statistics are especially glaring when you compare states in America that have abolished capital punishment and the states who still carry it out in a limited manner.
In this short respite, I have only renounced executions in social crimes, but the condemnation of the execution of political prisoners and activists for any reason is glaringly obvious and I’ll leave it for some other time. Thank you for giving attention to what I write from prison. I wish for a day when execution, stoning, the amputation of body parts and lashings don’t exist and we can live in a world filled with health and peace.
Long live freedom!
Behrouz Javid Tehrani,
October 2, 2010
Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj
Ward 2, Hall 4
Editor’s Note: With 388 executions carried out in 2009, Iran is ranked second highest in the world (China is number one).