In the past six days, authorities in Iran hanged at least 11 inmates in six different prisons. At dawn on Monday, April 12, the government hanged Arsalan Zare at Adilabad Prison in Shiraz, the capital of Fars province. He was a farmer and had been kept behind bars for 15 years.
On the same day, authorities executed two inmates at Karaj Central Prison in Alborz province, west of Tehran. The executed individuals were identified by human rights activists as Mohsen Mahdavian, 26, and Mehrdad Jalali, 40. They had served in prison for four and five years, respectively.
Also, a Kurdish prisoner Arsalan Moradi from the Divandareh district, Kurdistan province, was hanged at Birjand Prison, in the eastern Iranian province of South Khorasan. To exert additional pressure, the judiciary had exiled this death-row prisoner to Birjand Prison.
The human rights association No to Prison – No to Execution reported that authorities had executed at least three inmates at Isfahan Central Prison on April 12. One of the executed persons was 39-year-old Ghorban Karimi from the Zeynabieh district. Mr. Karimi was held in prison for seven years. He was the father of a seven-year-old girl.
On Saturday, April 10, authorities executed Youssef Rashou Hashtian and Morteza Kabiri in Urmia and Isfahan’s central prisons, respectively. Two days earlier, on Thursday, April 8, two more prisoners were executed at Babol prison after serving seven-and-a-half years in prison, according to the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The increase in executions amidst the Vienna nuclear talks between Tehran and 4+1 major powers have prompted concerns about the human rights conditions in Iran. Already, the U.S. and European leaders had declared their intention to expand the nuclear deal to other sectors, including the human rights dossier, as it was supposed to be a comprehensive plan from the day one.
However, the Iranian government has accelerated executions in flagrant defiance of international appeals. In other words, while Iran’s authoritarian rulers might temporarily withdraw from nuclear extortion and even their regional ambitions, but they explicitly announce they can never forgo suppression and violence against their own people, according to Iran’s observers.
In this context, the Iranian Resistance called on human rights organizations and officials, including the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Union, to take immediate measures to save the lives of Iran’s death row prisoners.
The NCRI also called for an international fact-finding mission to visit Iran prisons and meet with prisoners, in particular political prisoners. “The clerical regime’s human rights dossier must be referred to the UN Security Council for its flagrant and systematic violations of human rights,” it said, adding that “the leaders of this regime must be brought to justice for four decades of crimes against humanity.”