Iran’s prisoners are increasingly facing the oppressive arm of the regime in terms of executions. These executions are being used, not only as a criminal punishment, but a form of intimidation against the Iranian population. In order to use them for affective intimidation, multiple hangings are done in a public forum, where families with children can watch these individuals be put to death.
On April 23rd, according to the state run ROKNA news agency, in the northern town of Babol a 21-year-old who was convicted of killing another man in a fight was hanged in public Babol. His sentence was considered one of retribution. The man has not been identified by anything other than his initials, H.R.
Yet, these public hangings are also taking place in various prisons throughout Iran, often on non-violent offenses. Saied Papizadeh, otherwise known as Saied Keshvar, was detained for the past six years on drug related charges before being hanged ink the Borojerd Prison. According to Human Rights Activists in Iran, the man was married and the father of two children. This hanging is in direct violation of international standards, which Iran agreed to, that forbid executions for non-violent, drug-related offences.
Several meetings of the U.N in recent months have included mention of Iran’s executions, often calling for a moratorium any further executions within the country. Yet the executions continue and death sentences are being handed out for non-violent offenses, including “crimes against God” and drug related charges.
Another of these hangings, which have been decried by human rights activists throughout the international community, was that of Mehdi Mirzaie. He had been detained for three years on drug-related charges before being hanged in Parsilon Prison in Khoram Abad at dawn on April 22. He was 29 years old.
The regime also sent eight prisoners to the gallows collectively in Gohardasht prison of Karaj, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran. One of the executed was Mohsen Babai, who was married. He was very popular among the prisoners for his humane behavior. A number of those executed were taken to solitary cells and then taken to the gallows several times before being executed. A number of political prisoners have gone on hunger strikes to protest these brutal executions.
Hangings are the most common method of execution, according to Death Penalty Worldwide. This is despite a 2008 judicial moratorium on public executions. Under certain circumstances, the condemned are flogged prior to being hanged. Mass executions are part of the intimidation process, especially in light of the current election cycle.