Spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry Defends Executions
Ramin Mehmanparast, spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, announced that 80% of recent executions were drug related and emphasized that if Iran does not fight drugs, European countries will be harmed. The announcement came on the heels of objections and statements made by human rights organizations and two independent United Nations rapporteurs about Iran’s unrestrained executions. Mehmanparast did not deny the statistics or information published about the executions.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and other human rights organizations have presented reports of dozens of executions, asking the Iranian government to end summary, secret, and arbitrary executions, and to provide information about the executions carried out inside Iranian prisons. In recent weeks, the Campaign reported widespread executions of drug traffickers inside Mashad’s Vakilabad Prison. The Iranian Judiciary has refused to provide any explanations for the executions. Last week, for the first time, two United Nations Special Rapporteurs referred to the Mashad executions in a statement, but Iranian authorities have remained silent.
“The claims some countries make against Iran are interesting on two fronts. First is that if there is fair consideration, maybe more than 80% of the executions that take place are in drug-related cases. This is for a subject whose stakeholder is not just our country–all countries will face problems from this issue in their own society, and if the Islamic Republic of Iran decides not to fight drugs, western and European and other countries will be directly harmed. Therefore our efforts are towards [making sure that] other countries are not harmed in this relation. Many of these executions are to fight drugs, just as international organizations have commended our country for its efforts in this war,” said Mehmanparast during a press conference last week.
Without referencing the quality of the judicial process in these cases, or explaining the reasons for hiding the true number of executions in Iran, Mehmanparast criticized human rights organizations and countries who have demanded the Iranian government’s accountability. “The second subject that is notable is the human rights and humanitarian postures of these countries which have really surprised our people as to how human rights is defined in the western system. How is it that if an individual is executed for trafficking drugs, or when an individual is tried for adultery and murder, so much noise is made about the violations of human rights? We have high value and importance for human life, but when thousands of innocent people are killed in Palestine, they are not willing to defend the rights of the Palestinian people. The meaning of defending human rights and claims they make and their humanitarian postures are no longer acceptable to nations,” said Mehmanparast.