Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Big Iranian Capital Punishment Post

I would take an awful lot of convincing as to the accuracy of the charges brought against the six hundred plus people that Iran executed in 2011. In my mind it's nothing more than Iran's ongoing reign of terror against its own citizens.

What more convenient way of shutting up political opposition and stifling descent, than to publicly execute such numbers of people only exceeded by China and in a manner of barbarism that is only exceeded by that of Saudi Arabia.

What more convenient way of doing this than to accuse someone of any one of a catalogue of ''crimes'' that carry the death penalty in Iran. Most, to us in the west, might be considered laughable, certainly archaic, but not so I fear, if you are on the receiving end of such charges.

Such a list can be found here, courtesy of Wiki, but you won't find all there, you won't find for instance, ''crimes against chastity,'' a charge brought against Atefeh Sahaaleh, whose accuser was also the judge, jury and executioner. How's that for Iranian justice?
The Execution Of A Teenage Girl. BBC 49 mins.

Nor am I alone in this way of thinking, try this fellow.

Cloaked in a language of morality, capital punishment in Iran is used by the government to prevent threats to the legitimacy of the country’s religion-based political system. In other words, the government conflates threats to the religious order with threats to the political order.

Under Islamic law as applied in the country, a gamut of crimes is punishable by death. Homicide, rape, incest, homosexuality, adultery, and prostitution are capital offenses. Execution sentences are sometimes given out for drug-related crimes. The protesters sentenced to death last week were charged with mohareb, or “taking up arms against God.” freedomhouse.org

Perhaps this latest 'shopped' image ain't quite befitting the tone of the article, I did put it together before I started writing, but there's one thing for sure, the context certainly is. And to borrow a passage from a previous article:

Great satire does just this: it turns reality on its head, making us laugh while, at the same time, revealing some sort of ugly truth that we can't confront without laughing.
"Photoshop Justice" Cop Art: The Rise of the Citizen Satirist




I am putting up two versions of the same story, read one or both, or just the offering from the Guardian, but I couldn't let this one sentence pass unnoted, the irony is breathtaking.

Drewery Dyke, of Amnesty International, said that it seems Iran believes its law can be extended to other countries.

Iran to kill Canadian web developer

Claims his software promoted porn
by Edward Berridge
23 Jan 2012

Iran has decided that a Canadian man who visited the country a couple of years ago deserves to die for promoting porn.

Iran's supreme court has upheld the death sentence for a web programmer who faces imminent execution after being found guilty of developing and promoting porn websites.

Saeed Malekpour was visiting the country in October 2008 when he was picked up by plainclothes police and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge.

After a year, Malekpour was wheeled out in front of the television cameras, confessing to a series of "crimes" in connection with a porn website. On the basis of his TV confessions, he was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online by a court in Tehran.

He later retracted his confessions in a letter sent from prison, in which he said they had "extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture" and in the face of threats to him and his family.

Malekpour is a permanent resident of Canada. He wrote photo-uploading software which was used by a porn website without his knowledge.

After an international campaign and expert evidence, the supreme court suspended Malekpour's death sentence in June 2011 and ordered a judicial review

According to the Guardian, the view of the court was that it was all fair enough to execute a visitor to their country for something which is not a crime in the country they reside, and in any event they are probably innocent.

Drewery Dyke, of Amnesty International, said that it seems Iran believes its law can be extended to other countries.

Malekpour was charged with the crime of spreading corruption on Earth which is vaguely worded. So, basically, if you do anything that might miff the Iranian top brass and their ideologies, it might not be such a good idea to visit the country which once was a flower of human civilisation. That is unless you want to be strung up in a car park, which we can't imagine is on anyone's agenda. techeye.net
~ ~ ~

Iran confirms death sentence for 'porn site' web programmer


Saeed Malekpour faces imminent execution on basis of confessions he retracted in letter, saying they had been beaten out of him
Saeed Kamali Dehghan
18 January 2012

Iran's supreme court has upheld the death sentence for a web programmer who faces imminent execution after being found guilty of developing and promoting porn websites.

Saeed Malekpour was picked up by plainclothes officers in October 2008 and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge.



A year after his arrest, the 35-year-old appeared in a state television programme confessing to a series of crimes in connection with a porn website. On the basis of his TV confessions, he was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online by a court in Tehran, which handed down death penalty.

Malekpour later retracted his confessions in a letter sent from prison, in which he said they had been made under duress.

According to Malekpour's family, he is a permanent resident of Canada and is a programmer who wrote photo-uploading software that was used by a porn website without his knowledge.

His sister, Maryam Malekpour, said the supreme court had confirmed the death sentence despite many discrepancies in the case. "Saeed's lawyers were told that his death sentence will be issued this week," she said in an interview with the Iranian website Roozonline.

After an international campaign and new expert evidence, the supreme court suspended Malekpour's death sentence in June 2011 and ordered a judicial review.

Speaking to the Guardian, Maryam Nayeb Yazdi, a human rights activist based in Toronto who has followed Malekpour's case closely, said: "Saeed is in imminent danger of execution. He has never been provided with a fair trial at any point during this horrific and twisted ordeal.

"There are various discrepancies in Saeed's case file that were supposed to be reviewed and investigated by the revolutionary court, but the judge ignored the discrepancies and reissued the death sentence anyway.

"Saeed is being used as a scapegoat in a string of political games led by the revolutionary guards."

In his letter, Malekpour said large proportions of his confessions had been "extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture" and in the face of threats to him and his family.

"Once, in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water," he wrote. "While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and their fists struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck.

"Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios."

Drewery Dyke, of Amnesty International, said: "The death sentence recently upheld in the case of Saeed Malekpour extends the long, cold reach of execution in Iran.

"He is alleged to have created 'pornographic' internet sites and [is accused of] 'insulting the sanctity of Islam', for which he was charged with 'spreading corruption on earth', a vaguely worded charge which attracted the death penalty in Iran.

"The use of vaguely worded charges is not new in Iran, but the allegation that these were carried out on the internet is. It is an unwelcome addition to the catalogue of ways in which Iran finds it can execute its own citizens.

"In advance of March's parliamentary elections, when you would expect the right to exercise one's freedom of expression to increase, this case exemplifies 'innovative' ways as to how Iran is setting itself against access to online information."

Iran has faced international criticism for escalating its use of the capital punishment in recent years. In December, Amnesty warned against "a killing spree of staggering proportions" in the Islamic republic, and said Iran had executed at least 600 people between the beginning of 2011 and the end of November. guardian.co.uk
~ ~ ~

Iran criticised over capital punishment 'killing spree'

Amnesty International warns of 'new wave of drug offence executions' in Iran as well as public and secret hangings
Saeed Kamali Dehghan
15 December 2011

Iran has escalated its use of the capital punishment to what has been called "a killing spree of staggering proportions" in an effort to contain drug-related crimes amid concerns about the west's continuing support for the regime's anti-narcotics campaign, according to a report.

Amnesty International warned of "a new wave of drug offence executions" in Iran in a report published on Thursday, which highlights the country's extensive use of the death penalty, especially in a series of public and secret hangings.

According to the report, at least 600 people were executed in Iran from the beginning of 2011 up to the end of November, of which a minimum of 488 executions were carried out for alleged drug offences.

Amnesty said the figures showed a threefold increase in comparison to drug-related executions it documented in 2009. "Members of marginalised groups – including impoverished communities, ethnic minorities suffering discrimination, and foreign nationals, particularly Afghans – are most at risk of execution for drugs offences," it said.

Iran's judicial system has been criticised for holding "grossly unfair trials" in a majority of the cases. Many trials are reported to have been held behind closed doors without the presence of a defence lawyer and families have not been given prior notice of the execution.

Iran is a neighbour to Afghanistan, a leading producer and supplier of the world's drugs. As for the Afghans imprisoned in Iran for drug offences, Amnesty said it appears they are "particularly poorly treated" and as many as 4,000 of them are believed to be on death row.

The sharp rise in the number of drug offence executions in Iran comes at a time when the international community, especially many European countries, including Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland and Britain, continues to provide the Islamic republic with financial and technical support for its anti-drug campaign.

Paradoxically, many of these countries have repeatedly condemned executions in Iran while praising its achievements in the anti-drug field. According to Amnesty, the EU has provided Iran with €9.5m over three years and the UN office for drugs and crime (UNODC) has also given the country £14m since 2005 for its anti-narcotics campaign.

Many activists have raised concerns in recent years about the west's support for Iran. Fazel Hawramy, the editor of Kurdishblogger.com, who has campaigned on the issue, said Iran has received "body scanners, drug detecting kits, drug catalysts, sniffer dogs, vehicles, night-vision devices and radio communication equipment" as part of the west's support despite international sanctions.

"It cannot be ruled out that some of this equipment was used by the police to crush the pro-democracy demonstrations in 2009," wrote Hawramy in an article published by the Guardian earlier this month.

"All countries and international organisations helping the Iranian authorities arrest more people for alleged drugs offences need to take a long hard look at the potential impact of that assistance and what they could do to stop this surge of executions," said Ann Harrison of Amnesty. "They cannot simply look the other way while hundreds of impoverished people are killed each year without fair trials, many only learning their fates a few hours before their deaths."

Activists fear that Iran might have executed political prisoners and activists among those killed secretly for drug offences. In one example in the city of Mashhad, at Vakilabad prison, Amnesty has received reports of secret mass execution involving 89 individuals in August 2010.


Nasrin Sotoudeh is one of a number of activist lawyers who have fallen foul of the Iranian regime for highlighting Iran's high rate of executions.

In recent years, many Iranian activists and lawyers have fallen foul of the Iranian regime for highlighting Iran's high rate of executions. Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer, is currently kept in Tehran's notorious Evin prison after being arrested in September 2010 for speaking out on the execution of juvenile offenders in Iran.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The UK has contributed to the UN's Iran country programme, with the majority of funding in recent years being given in 2007. Work funded included a variety of projects including a project to reduce demand for drugs and a project to improve capacity to tackle money-laundering.

"We take the human rights implications of our counternarcotics work very seriously and human rights are a central consideration in all decisions. We are opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances including for drugs offences, and have made our views on this matter absolutely clear. We have regularly raised our concerns with the Iranian regime about its human rights record including its appalling use of the death penalty as evidenced in this Amnesty report.

"More broadly, the illegal drugs trade causes huge damage to the UK and to countries all around the world. The UK's overseas work in tackling this threat involves a range of activities including improving policing and law-enforcement standards and promoting best practice." Guardian


And not another word shall I write until I can get my spell check set back to English en. For reasons best known to itself it has jumped to US en. and no matter what I try, nothing's working. To say it's driving me feckin insane, would be an understatement. It wants me to spell everything with a zed instead of an ess, or should I say, goddamned zee.

Unedited

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iran Cracks Down on Dissidents, Human Rights Attorneys and Journalists

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec12/iran_11-23.html

Himself said...

Thank you, I shall look at when I have woken up more.

Anonymous said...


http://www.iranherald.com/index.php/sid/217186363/scat/1b76a2b4cf7810bd/ht/Iran-frees-human-rights-activist

Himself said...

Ahhh, tea. Mornin' Chuck.

A genuine sniff of change in the air, or Iranian politicking?

I've noticed a few overtures from Iran of late, although the talk of halting enrichment, seems a bit of a stretch.

One activist does not an Iranian Spring make.

Perhaps a good metric of how genuine this wind of change is, will be the numbers of children, "gays" and other dissenters that Iran does or does not hang in the near future.

Oh! and stoning women, did I mention that.

All in all, for the time being at least, I shall treat any Iranian gestures with the usual amount of cynicism.

My, how the world changes us. To this day, I can still remember the words of my first work reference:

"In times of cynical attitudes, I f find his approach quite refreshing."

There is nothing like a dose of reality to cure that "affliction."

More tea, more tasks, and then Ma'ma.