Ten More Secret Executions in Mashad, Foreign Citizens Among Those Executed
According to information obtained by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the implementation of death sentences in Mashad’s Vakilabad prison continues. Last Tuesday, 26 October, ten more prisoners were executed in a group without any official announcement by the Iranian government. All those executed had been charged with drug trafficking. Among those executed was a Nigerian citizen. In similar executions in recent months in Vakilabad prison, some Afghan citizens and a citizen of Ghana were also executed.
Consistent with previous practices, these executions were carried out without prior knowledge of the inmates, their families, or their lawyers, and therefore families and lawyers were not present. “These executions were carried out without the Supreme Court’s confirmation notice and without notifying the families and lawyers about the time of execution. The execution sentences have been summarily and secretively upheld, and execution orders from the Supreme Court were only given to Mashad’s Prosecutor and the Chief Prison Warden. Families of those executed were informed on Wednesday, 27 October, and after paying for the rope used for the execution, they picked up the bodies of the executed prisoners from Mashad’s Behesht Reza Cemetery,” according to a source who spoke with the Campaign.
These group executions were carried out in the presence of Mashad’s Prosecutor Zoghi or his deputy, Vakilabad prison’s Chief Warden Alizadeh, Head of the prison’s Intelligence Unit Anvari, the prison judge, and Colonel Ghandarzadeh or Major Esmaili Jami, former and current Commanders of the local Police Force. The executions were carried out by Special Police Guards.
The rising number of execution sentences within the Mashad Revolutionary Courts have been summarily issued by Judge Khosravi, Judge Soltani, Judge Yasabi, Judge Kavousi, and Judge Kaboli in accordance with Prosecutor General Mohseni Ejei’s directive to Provincial Revolutionary Court Prosecutors nationwide.
By virtue of these courts’ acting on orders from the Prosecutor General, the trials have been conducted summarily and inside closed courts, without adherence to basic rights of the accused, and with reliance on confessions extracted under pressure and torture. As execution rulings were issued en masse, death sentences were issued without proper observance of fair hearing procedures. In many cases, completely innocent people were tried and executed.
According to inmates of Vakilabad Prison, between June 2009 and 26 October 2010, hundreds of drug-related offenders have been executed in this prison, and hundreds more await execution.
In recent days, citing reliable sources, the Campaign has reported on secret group executions of 23 more prisoners inside Vakilabad prison in October 2010.