News “Executions in Iran, murders committed under the auspices of the state.” Last Minute WORLD headlines and events
Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the Iranian government has used the death penalty as a weapon to intimidate people and suppress dissidents, and that the death penalty is tantamount to “state-sponsored killing”.
Emphasizing that the death penalty violates international human rights law, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said: “Using criminal trials as a weapon to punish people for exercising their fundamental rights, such as organizing or participating in demonstrations, is murder, committed on a basis under the auspices of the state.”
Two men in Iran were hanged on Saturday for allegedly killing members of the security forces during protests across the country, and many of them were sentenced to death.
In a statement, the UN Human Rights Office said that two people on death row were notified that their sentences would be carried out faster, and 100 people were given capital punishment.
Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said there are various irregularities in the trial and fair trial that those on death row face. The violations Turk mentions include not laying out the elements of the crime in clear language, refusing to assign suspects their preferred lawyers, extracting their testimony under duress, and depriving them of a meaningful appeals process.
Iran, which accuses the popular uprisings of being provoked by xenophobes like America, claims the protests were suppressed in order to protect national sovereignty.
Mohammad Ali Alsour, a senior UN human rights official, told a press conference in Geneva today that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk continues to press for a visit to Iran and a meeting with the country’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah. Ali Khamenei, he said he knew.
Alsour said a separate face-to-face meeting between Turkish and Iranian officials was planned “very soon”, without giving any details, and said, “We cannot remain silent while very serious violations continue.”
In November, the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council decided to set up an independent three-person fact-finding mission to look into Iran’s attempts to quell the protests.
It is noted that protests have decreased with the start of executions condemned by many countries.
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