While it doesn’t seem possible that Iran’s current regime could commit any greater human rights abuses than his first term, the actions of his administration seem to indicate that it is business as usual and that his first term was a just foregleam of the injustices the Iranian people would have to face.
Criminals who are arrested for drug-related charges are still being executed, despite the calls from the international community to halt all executions for non-violent drug related offenses. On the morning of July 16, for example, a Baluch prisoner was executed after being detained for eight years on drug related charges.
Another prisoner was executed by hanging, along with two other older men. He was 13 when arrested and served eight years before being hanged for drug-related charges. Another young man in Zabol Prison, 28-year-old Yousef Rigi, was detained for five years before being hanged on drug-related charges.
These few examples showcase how minor crimes can result in the death penalty. For minors who have been sentenced to death, the regime waits until they have reached the age of 18 or are a little older before carrying out their sentence, thus avoiding the accusation that they executed a minor. Still, these sentences are a violation of Iran’s own juvenile sentencing laws. The judges appear to be able to sentence without fear of reprisals or appeals.
Those wishing to put off execution even attempt bodily harm upon themselves. One prisoner in the Central Isfahan Prison went so far as to stab himself to delay his death sentence. However, he was stitched up and then sent to solitary prior to his execution for his drug-related charges.
The larger issue is that many of these individuals are addicted to the various drugs found in their possession. Thus, they are being executed for an addiction, which in other countries is treated as a disease. Many individuals are arrested but are given the opportunity to attend treatment programs in order to put their lives back on track. In Iran, drug addiction is seen as a moral failing and is punished as one. The potential of these individuals is lost.
Still, one doesn’t need to be in prison to be executed in Iran. Tehran Police, for example, fired at a suspected car in the Dehkadeh Olympic Square and killed a young woman, wounded another person and then arrested a third. The driver of the car, according to police, did not stop as ordered by the police and was caught in a dead-end street. All three had criminal records, according to the Chief of Police.
Thus, a criminal record is often all that is needed for the police to summarily execute an individual in the street. Others have been beaten for various “crimes” from dress code violations to talking with individuals of the opposite sex. The regime continues its oppressive measures against its citizens. It is truly time for a different form of government for the sake of the Iranian people.