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Rising Number of Executions in Iran Suggests Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

On Saturday, Iran’s regime executed Baluch political prisoner Javid Dehghan Khald, 31, in Zahedan central prison, southeast Iran. His execution brough the number of executions to eight within a week, suggesting a deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran.

The prison authorities had transferred Mr. Dehghan Khaled to the quarantine ward on Thursday before his execution. He was arrested in 2015 and went under severe tortures to confess to charges placed on him. The regime’s torturers pulled his fingernails and lashed him using cables.

Many human rights organizations and defenders reacted to Dehghan Khaled’s execution, and had previously called for its halt. Amnesty International on Thursday urged the regime’s authorities to “immediately halt the execution of Javid Dehghan, a member of Iran’s disadvantaged Baluchi ethnic minority.”

“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment,” the statement adds.

On January 28, Ali Motayeri, an Iranian-Arab prisoner, was executed in Ahvaz Sheiban Prison under the pretext of “Moharebeh (Waging war against God)” and “corruption on earth.” He was wounded during his arrest in May 2018 and tortured to make a forced confession.

Prior to Javid Dehghan’s execution, the regime hanged Iranian wrestler Mehdi Ali Hosseini on January 25 despite an international outcry to halt his execution. Ali Hosseini was the second athlete executed since September, when the regime hanged Iran’s national hero Navid Afkari for his role in the 2018 Iran protests.

The number of executions in Iran are on the rise. The genocidal regime has so far executed nearly 40 individuals in the last few months.

The United Nations Human Rights Office has also condemned the rising number of executions in Iran. “We strongly condemn the series of executions – at least 28 – since mid-December, including of people from minority groups. We urge the authorities to halt the imminent execution of Javid Dehghan, to review his and other death penalty cases in line with human rights law,” the UN Human Rights Twitter account posted on Friday.

Facing a restive society, the regime intends to intimidate the public by increasing its oppressive measures. Meanwhile, the international community’s lack of action has emboldened the regime to continue its killing spree and continue its crimes.

On December 12, the regime executed Ruhollah Zam, a French resident. European countries had done nothing but “condemning” his death sentence. After Zam’s execution, while European countries canceled their business forum with the regime in Tehran, the regime’s President Hassan Rouhani said Zam’s execution will have no effect on Tehran’s relation with Europe.

Furthermore, the regime’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned some of the ambassadors of those European countries which had condemned Zam’s execution.

The recent executions in Iran and the regime’s disregard for global “condemnations” suggest the mullahs enjoy a “systematic impunity.”

This systematic impunity has formed largely because of the inaction of the Western democracies, who had prioritized economy over human rights when it comes to Iran.

The trace of both systematic human rights violations and impunity by the regime’s authorities go back to the regime’s most horrific crimes against humanity in 1988.

In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime extrajudicially executed over 30,000 political prisoners. Seven UN human rights experts in a letter published in December 2020, underlined this massacre may amount to “crimes against humanity.”

They also underlined how the world community’s inaction “had a devastating impact on the survivors and families as well as on the general situation of human rights in Iran.”

The recent executions in Iran are testaments to the devasted human rights situation in Iran. In fact, the regime has already expressed its intention to continue crimes against humanity, not only by the ongoing executions, but by having Ebrahim Raisi as its Judiciary Chief. Raisi is one of the main perpetrators of the 1988 massacre and is also known as the “hanging judge.”

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The regime uses the international community’s inaction to make executions and crimes against humanity normal in Iran and for the world.

The international community, particularly European governments, have a moral obligation to stop the rising trend of human rights abuses in Iran.

The recent trial of the regime’s incarcerated diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi, who had tried to bomb Iranian opposition’s rally in France in 2018, shows the regime’s crimes recognize no boundaries.

The European Countries have recently adopted a new global sanctions regime targeting human rights violators globally. Due to its dark human rights record and based on the evidence, the European leaders are able to target the regime and its authorities.

They should impose sanctions on the regime’s authorities and sever all ties with the regime unless the human rights violations in Iran stop.

As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the opposition president-elect, recently said: “This regime cannot last even for a day without torture and execution.”

Mrs. Rajavi urged the United Nations and human rights organizations, as well as European countries and the United States, to take immediate measures to save the lives of death row prisoners. She called for the referral of the Iranian regime’s dossier of arbitrary executions, massacres of political prisoners, and killings of demonstrators to the United Nations Security Council, and for its leaders to be brought to justice for four decades of crimes against humanity.

As Mrs. Rajavi said: “This regime is a disgrace to contemporary humanity and must be isolated by the international community.”