For this reason, even in the conditions of the coronavirus situation, where hundreds of people die every day in Iran due to this disease, the authorities do not stop torturing and executing prisoners.
On 21 April, Amnesty International issued a statement strongly condemning the execution of Shayan Saeedpour by Iran’s regime and stating in its statement:
“The execution of Shayan Saeedpour today in Iran for a crime committed as a child is further proof of the authorities’ total disregard for the right to life, said Amnesty International.
“Shayan Saeedpour’s execution was vengeful and cruel,” said Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East, and North Africa.
“The use of the death penalty against Shayan – a child with a long history of mental illness – was strictly prohibited. By proceeding with his execution despite international opposition, the Iranian authorities have yet again made a mockery of juvenile justice.
“The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and its use against people who were below the age of 18 at the time of the crime is banned under international law. Our annual Death Penalty report shows that Iran is one of a small minority of countries in the world that still use the death penalty against people in that category. This is abhorrent and must stop.”
On 22 April, seven prisoners were executed in Gohardasht Prison (Rajai Shahr). Also, on this day, a 30-year-old prisoner named Loghman Ahmadpour was executed in Sanandaj prison. He was from Baneh, married and the father of two children, who had been in prison for three years.
Five other prisoners are also scheduled to be executed in Sanandaj Prison on 5 and 6 April. The names of these prisoners are as follows:
- Vahed (Behnam) Faizi from Baneh
- Ramyar Mokhles from Baneh
- Adnan Mirki from Dehgolan
- Sina Mohammadi from Dehgolan
- Ahmad Abdullah-pour from Sanandaj.
Last year, the regime executed 297 people, including seven children and 18 women. According to the collected and registered news, the regime has arrested 117,307 people in different cities of Iran under various pretexts.
The number of arrests in 2019 increased by 6.5 times compared to the number of arrests in 2018. In 2019, the highest number of arrests was in December with 21042 people and the lowest number of arrests was in March 2020 with 281 people.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, also issued a statement on Wednesday, 22 April, condemning the execution of two criminal children in Iran, calling on the Iranian government to respect international human rights obligations:
“The executions of these two child offenders are absolutely prohibited under international human rights law,” Bachelet said in a statement.
“The imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18 at the time of the offense is strictly prohibited.”
“I repeat my call on Iranian authorities to honor its international human rights obligations, immediately halt all executions of juvenile offenders, and commute all such death sentences.”
Reporters Without Borders ranked Iran 173rd out of 180 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Rankings released on 3 April.
“Iran has been one of the world’s most repressive countries for journalists for the past 40 years. State control of news and information is unrelenting and at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists have been imprisoned or executed since 1979.”
The report also states that the Iranian regime has expanded its pressure abroad in recent years by targeting international media.
These successive reports show that what is happening to the youth, intellectuals, politicians, and the people of Iran is not hidden from the eyes of the Iranian people and international institutions, and they continue to condemn these criminal acts.
But the question is, under what pressure is Khamenei, who has not stopped executions and killings in prisons, and has even increased it in these circumstances?
From the beginning of the new year, the news of the riots and escapes of prisoners from different prisons in the country, because of the coronavirus outbreak in the prisons, which put their lives in danger, attracted the attention of the people of Iran and the world.
During the first week of the year (Persian calendar), riots, strikes, and breakouts in 10 prisons destroyed the hegemony and authority of Khamenei.
Because the regime’s prisons are a symbol of the repression and domination of the ruling mullahs, and with the repressive forces and its prisons, it has kept the umbrella of oppression and repression over the whole society.
The clerical regime, shocked by the unrest and insurgency, tried to stop this progressive movement by deploying new guards in front of the prisons.
That is why Judge Salavati immediately set up an ad hoc and closed-door court for a number of detainees during last November’s protests, and three of whom, Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi, were sentenced to death.
At 4 am on Saturday, 11 April, Mustafa Salimi, a political prisoner in Saqqez Prison who was re-arrested after escaping, was executed.
Political prisoner Saeed Sangar, who has been in prison for the past 20 years, has been given a new 15-year sentence.
While the regime announced due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country the release of the prisoners, but the regime’s chief of Justice Ebrahim Raisi, under Khamenei’s guidance, refused to release political prisoners.
These actions show that Khamenei is very much afraid of the conditions facing society. He is well aware that the poverty and unemployment of the people in the conditions made by the coronavirus and their secrecy in announcing statistics or taking care of the people, has put the army of the hungry on the verge of an all-encompassing uprising.
He knows that if the people’s anger explodes and they take to the streets again, his regime will no longer be able to deal with it. For this reason, although he knows that such executions and repressions are detrimental to him in these circumstances, he has no choice but to do so.