Iran is using the death penalty against protesters and government critics

NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Gissou Nia, an analyst on the nonpartisan Atlantic Council, about Iran’s use of the demise penalty in opposition to protesters and govt critics.


The Iranian govt’s violent crackdown on protesters continues 4 months after demonstrations first erupted. 1000’s of other people were detained, masses were killed, consistent with the U.N.’s Human Rights Place of job. The Iranian govt has moved from detentions and beatings to executions, and extra executions are anticipated. Gissou Nia makes a speciality of human rights violations and global crimes on the Atlantic Council and joins us now. Thank you such a lot for being with us.

NISSOU GIA: Thank you for having me.

SIMON: From what you’ll be able to inform, how is the Iranian govt the use of the demise penalty in opposition to protesters?

GIA: Neatly, for years, the Islamic Republic has been the main international executioner in line with capita. However with the hot occasions, we see that the tempo of executions has sped up. One of these interventions that protection recommend would possibly be capable to make previously on behalf of any person who’s within the dock has been utterly eroded. And protesters are being arrested after which sentenced to demise and killed within the area of 20, 30 days.

SIMON: Does not sound like a lot of a tribulation.

GIA: No. Initially, those trials aren’t open to the general public, those which can be in progressive courts, which ceaselessly care for the crimes which can be alleged in opposition to protesters – corruption on earth, waging struggle in opposition to God, and different kind of trumped-up, spurious nationwide security-focused fees. But if there are trials, they are reported to final possibly 5 mins, 10 mins. Ceaselessly, the defendants do not even know what proof is getting used in opposition to them till the day of. They’re ceaselessly now not given recommend of their very own opting for. And so there are truly no due procedure protections in position.

SIMON: And as you discussed, the fees are – neatly, not anything we might acknowledge from capital crimes right here. They are now not homicide. They are now not treason, essentially.

GIA: Yeah. Below global legislation, there’s an exception to be used of the demise penalty. Maximum human rights advocates are utterly for abolition of the demise penalty international and, you already know, stick with that. However there are some exceptions below global legislation. On the other hand, they must be for essentially the most severe crimes, and there must be due procedure protections in any trial. Through each measures, the Islamic Republic is de facto failing to satisfy their tasks below global legislation, below the ICCPR, which they’re a signatory to. So they’re failing in that course.

And what I will have to point out is that those people who are being completed are 20-, 21-, 22-year-old boys, truly, who’re being completed just because they determined to take part in any such protests and workout their rights assured below global legislation. So this for sure wishes to return to a right away finish. Those are individuals who have their entire lives prior to them, and they are given no likelihood to protect themselves. And they are being sentenced to demise on trumped-up fees. Different governments want to take a truly robust manner with the Islamic Republic and convey this to an finish.

SIMON: Do now we have any thought of the numbers of people that were completed?

GIA: There were about 8 executions, if I am not incorrect, previously. There is a couple of hundred protesters on demise row nowadays who’re – both were sentenced to demise or are going to be sentenced to demise in keeping with the fees which were introduced in opposition to them. Some other 700 protesters were sentenced to very draconian sentences. In order that’s additionally a significant issue.

And the opposite factor that has been now not lost sight of, however that we will have to truly draw consideration to, is that one of the vital protesters which can be launched were significantly tortured, are then reportedly, consistent with the state, death from, quote-unquote, “suicide.” The Middle for Human Rights in Iran, an NGO that paperwork those violations, simply got here out with a file discussing those very mysterious, quote-unquote, “suicides.” And the households are satisfied that those aren’t suicides. Those are individuals who died below custodial torture or who had been differently disappeared and killed. And the state is now seeking to paint it as though the protesters took their very own lives.

SIMON: Is there any indication, from what you’ll be able to inform, that there is any power on earth that may discourage Iran from doing this?

GIA: There’s one truly essential motion that has now not been taken, which is that states that do have diplomatic family members with the Islamic Republic want to straight away recall their ambassadors and downgrade diplomatic family members. We noticed that the U.Okay. has carried out this as a result of an Iranian British nationwide was once completed a couple of days again. However this must be a coordinated manner wherein those international locations do that in combination to ship an excessively robust political sign to the Islamic Republic that the executions can not proceed and that this is not going to be tolerated.

SIMON: Gissou Nia of the Atlantic Council, thank you such a lot.

GIA: Thanks.

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