Iran: Execution of Over 70 Individuals in Mashhad
Some of the individuals who were executed for drug related charges had received their sentences in the past and the death penalty should not have been applied to them. In some cases, the individuals only had to pay a monetary penalty. However, their sudden death sentence was issued by the judiciary authorities.
According to Nedaye Sabz Azadi (Iran Green Voice), the authorities have not stated a reason for the sudden executions. It is believed that the Intelligence and security organizations have made such decision.
When Ahmadinejad’s government first came into power and it was later revealed that a high ranking security officer had connections with the drug dealers, 60 individuals involved in the case were suddenly executed. The executed individuals were mainly residents of Torbat Jaam and Taibad and a few were relatives of police officers.
Children below the legal age of 18 have also been among the people recently executed.
In his defense in the court, political activist Ahmad Ghabel who was detained on December 21, 2009 and was released in June of 2010 on a 50 million Tooman($50,000) after 170 days of detention, stated that during the 3 month period that he was held in Ward 6.1 of Vakil Abad Prison, “the prison authorities announced that more than 50 individuals were executed after being transferred to Ward 6.1.” According to Ghabel, “in one occasion, 31 people were executed, and the Press Department of the Khorasan Judiciary had told a Khorasan newspaper that 5 smugglers have been put to death.”
The Islamic government of Iran carries out the death sentence of many individuals without paying attention to International objections. Iran prisons have one of the highest execution rates.
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