Human Rights Commissioner calls on Iran to stop using capital punishment

01.07.2011 - Press release

As the numbers of people being executed in Iran continue to rise, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (1 July):

“It is devastating that more than 200 people have been executed in Iran since the beginning of the year. These numbers mean that Iran continues to carry out more death penalties per capita than any other state. Executions are held in public, and painful strangulation by hanging is often the method employed.As in the past, those put to death include people who were under age at the time of the offence. Furthermore, since the 2009 protest movement was suppressed, death sentences have been handed down and carried out specifically to target critics of the regime. Trials do not even begin to fulfil the requirements of the rule of law.By continuing this practice, Iran is marginalizing itself and contravening international law. Iran is called upon to uphold the minimum standards set by international law.I call on those responsible in Iran to put a moratorium in place and thus fall into line with the global trend towards abolishing the death penalty.”

During the first half of this year, at least 200 people were put to death in Iran. This is already more than were executed during the whole of last year.

By ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran has committed itself to using the death penalty only for the most serious crimes and to upholding certain minimum standards, such as the prohibition of particularly cruel methods of execution and the exemption from capital punishment of anyone who was under age at the time of the offence.

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