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World Citizens Strongly Protest Public Executions of Demonstrators in Iran

In Being a World Citizen, Current Events, Democracy, Human Rights, Middle East & North Africa, NGOs, Solidarity, World Law on January 8, 2023 at 8:46 PM

By René Wadlow

“I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for death. I am not on his payroll. I will not tell him the whereabouts of my friends nor of my enemies either”.

–Edna St-Vincent Millay, U. S. poetess.

The Association of World Citizens (AWC) has repeatedly called upon governments for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty – a penalty that extensive research has shown has little or no impact on the level of crime and too often opens the door to judicial errors and injustice. In addition to State-sponsored official executions, usually carried out publicly or at least with official observers, a good number of countries have State-sponsored “death squads” – persons affiliated to the police or to intelligence agencies that kill “in the dark of the night” unofficially. These deaths avoid a trial which might attract attention or even a “not guilty” decision.

The January 7 hanging of Mohammad Mehdi Karami, 22 years old, and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, 39, by the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an obvious effort to crush dissent and demonstrations which have shaken the authorities, set off by the death of Mahsa Animi in September at the hands of the morality police.

The January 7 hangings follow the December hangings of Moshen Shekari and Majidreza Rahmavd, both 23 years old. 14 other persons have been sentenced to death and are at imminent risk of execution – mostly young men. More than 40 persons are facing charges that could carry the death penalty. The four persons hanged did not have fair trials, and the court-appointed lawyers had no time to prepare a defense. The AWC is devoted to universal application of human rights law which includes fair trials and adequate defense – trials carried out with established international norms.

A public execution in Parsabad, Iran on September 20, 2017. (C) Mohsen Zare/Tasnim News Agency

Kenneth Patchen’s (1911-1972) clear words have been a credo for the AWC, opposed to executions on moral grounds:

    “This is a man

     he is a poor creature

     you are not to kill him

     This is a man

     he has a hard time

     upon the earth

     You are not to kill him”

Prof. René Wadlow is President of the Association of World Citizens.

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