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Iran: World Day Against the Death Penalty

The execution of political prisoners often happens en masse in the country. The Secretary General of the United Nations denounced the executions in the most recent report on Iran.

Following a fatwa issued by Khomeini in 1988, more than 30,000 political prisoners were killed in the space of a few months. Most of these people were members or followers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). In August this year an audio recording was published in which Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, then heir-apparent to Khomeini, denounced the crime. 

The speakers called for justice for the people who died. Today, many of the officials who organized the massacre hold powerful positions in the government. They continue to sentence Iranians to death. 

Iran, with more than 1,000 hangings per year, has the highest rate of executions per capita in the world. International human rights groups have denounced the country’s use of capital punishment.

Jean-François Legaret, mayor of Paris’ 1st district, hosted the exposition in his office. He said that there is “a battle to fight against the death penalty and other barbaric acts in Iran”, such as the 1988 prison massacre. He wanted the campaign to raise awareness that should continue until those responsible are judged before an international tribunal. 

He emphasized that we should never negotiate with a “barbarous regime”, even if commercial exchanges are important. 

Jacques Boutault, mayor of Paris’ 2nd district, praised the Iranian Resistance and all those who fight alongside it. He pointed out that the Iranian regime is complicit in the war in Aleppo and called on the French government to have the courage to denounce the crimes that Iran has perpetrated in Syria. 

Mr. Henri Leclerc, Honorable President of the League for Human Rights, said that the use of the death penalty in Iran should be challenged, stating that “unpunished crimes will recur”. He said that the massacre of political prisoners in Iran “is a crime against humanity when we know that thousands were executed while they were in prison. This must be denounced and we must act. We have sufficient materials. I hope that the U.N. conducts an investigation which brings those responsible to trial”. He added that the victims of the 1988 massacre “died for liberty around the world; these men, women, and children have a right to justice. If we leave such crimes unpunished, it is our future that will truly be tragic”.