Human Rights Commissioner calls on Iran to stop using capital punishment

15.12.2011 - Press release

According to Amnesty International, the number of executions in Iran has risen significantly in 2011 compared to the previous year. Iran claims that most of the victims are suspected drug traffickers.

In this connection Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning issued the following statement in Berlin today (15 December):

“The current wave of executions in Iran is horrifying. Iran continues to carry out more death sentences per capita than any other state. This cannot be justified even by the legitimate fight against drug trafficking.
Particularly shocking is the fact that people have been put to death who were under age at the time of the offence or even that of execution. Iran is called upon to adhere to international minimum standards to which the country has committed itself.
Furthermore, since the suppression of the 2009 protest movement, death sentences have been handed down and carried out specifically to target critics of the regime. This terror carried out by the regime against the country’s population is designed to intimidate people further.
I appeal to the authorities to refrain from executing people and abolish the death penalty, thus following the lead of a large number of countries worldwide.”

According to official figures, at least 368 people have been put to death in Iran since the beginning of this year. The actual number of executions is estimated to be much higher. The number goes well beyond that of all executions carried out in 2010, when 262 cases were officially confirmed.

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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