Halt Execution of 33 Sunnis, Request Rights Groups
Thirty-three Kurdish men have been sentenced to death by Iranian authorities, including possibly a juvenile offender. The international and Iranian community are standing in solidarity requesting new and fair trials. In a joint statement published on June 12, 2014, eighteen human rights organization and one prominent human rights lawyer asked the Iranian authorities to quash the death sentences of these 33 Kurdish men. In concert, 22,500 concerned citizens from 98 countries have signed a petition demanding a halt on the executions.
A number of procedural and substantive failures have led to the conviction of these men. Some of the men allege that the judiciary handed down their death sentences based on incriminating statements they were forced to sign under torture. There is no information indicating that there was an investigation into these allegations of torture. The trials which were held behind closed doors, lasted only 10-30 minutes. The death sentences of eight of these men have been confirmed by the Supreme Court and their cases have been sent to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences, the official body in charge of carrying out executions. These eight men are considered to be at imminent risk of execution.
The human rights organizations stress that at the very least, Iranian authorities should grant these men retrials in proceedings that comply with international standards of fair trial, without recourse to the death penalty. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran joins Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Nobel Women’s Initiative, led by Nobel Peace Laureates Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Jody Williams, among those who have supported this statement.