Within the international body of law, several keys have been set down in relation to executions and the use of the death penalty. Country after country has chosen to follow these international laws, thus reducing or eliminating the death penalty altogether. However, this is not the case in Iran, where executions for a variety of non-violent crimes continue, including the execution of individuals who were sentenced as juveniles and then held for execution until they were adults.
One such case is the execution by hanging of two Afghan nationals who had been imprisoned on drug-related charges. The two men were then executed by hanging at the Central Zahedan Prison on July 22. They were in prison for more than eight years prior to their executions. This is despite the continued calls from the international community for Iran to put a moratorium on all executions. This call has come from the United Nations and various NGOs.
Another case was the execution of a Pakistani national who was under the age of 15 when he was arrested and was hung on July 15 at the age of 22, along with two other prisoners at the Zahedan Prison.
But there are executions that often don’t come to light until years later. The Judiciary, for example, ordered the hanging of an unknown number of prisoners in Birjand Prison from 2009 to 2012. The identities of 66 of these prisoners has been determined. Most were executed for drug-related charges. The number included at least five women and seven foreign nationals. These executions, however, were never announced in Iranian state media. They were treated like a dirty little secret, leaving little hope that the families would ever learn the circumstances of their loved ones’ deaths.
Additionally, Iran continues to use hanging as an acceptable form of execution, despite the fact that many in the international community condemn this type of execution.
Knowing that you will be executed does not protect you from torture, which is what happened to 32-year-old Salman Mir Shahi, who had been detained in Zabol Prison for seven years. He was hanged after being chained for two days to a pole in the officers’ section of this prison. He was originally arrested for drug related charges. This method of torture is used in this prison on death row prisoners and this treatment is administered right up their executions.
This is the justice system that the Iranian regime has fostered throughout the years and it is clear that there is no justice to be found within its scope of power.