Iran: Detained Protesters Threatened with Execution

Jan 2, 20100 comments

Pressure Builds on Judiciary to Act “As in 1979” (3 January 2010)  In apparently coordinated messages, pro-government clerics have publicly called for detained protesters to be executed, placing intense political pressure on the Islamic Republic’s supposedly-independent judiciary to act as judicial authorities did in the early days of the Revolution, and attempting to intimidate Iranians from demonstrating for their rights, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran stated today. The ayatollahs were quoted, from speeches during pro-government demonstrations and during Friday Prayers, by Fars News Agency. “We are deeply concerned that, while inappropriate political pressure is being placed on judicial authorities, government propaganda is preparing the population for executions,” said Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign. “It appears the Iranian leaders have failed to learn that state-sponsored violence will not end the protests and will only exacerbate them. After six months of protests, such executions will only cause more instability and popular outrage,” he added. Ayatollah Alamolhoda , a member of the Assembly of Experts, warned citizens who had demonstrated their opposition to the government’s restrictions on civil rights that they would be considered Mohareb, or enemies of God, if they did not give up their opposition.  Mohareb is a crime punishable by death in the Islamic Republic.  Alamolhoda implored the demonstrators to “come back to the side of the Supreme Leader,” otherwise they would “regret the punishments” waiting for them. During Friday Prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Janati, the Secretary of the Guardian Council, addressed the protesters as follows: “These people obviously are Mofsed felarz [one who denies the Prophet and spreads debauchery] and immediately after Revolution such people were punished…” He added, “People expect the Judiciary to do more, however, we are aware of the Judiciary’s  restrictions and know that they are not able to act the same as they did in the courts after Revolution. If they had acted same as that time the recent rebellion would have been over much earlier.” Janati addressed the Judiciary and said, “Detain those who should be arrested,  don’t release them after several days in order to continue chaos. These people won’t be led to the right path.” He added, ”The Intelligence and Information institutions should do their task and if these people  dare again to disrespect and insult [sacred] values in the street they should not be secure and should be arrested and tried immediately. Also, for their trial, judges should proceed as rapidly as those in 1979.” Ayatollah Sayed Yousef Tabataienejad, during Friday Prayers in Isfahan, also  addressed the Judiciary and stated: “The disruptive group fought with God by coming onto the streets…they are Mofsed felarz and the Judiciary should know that their actions are obvious debauchery and according to God and the Koran the punishment is execution.” Ayatollah Haj Sheikh Asadolah Imani, a member of the Assembly of Experts, in the Friday Prayers in Shiraz, said, “Anarchists should know that if they cause anarchy or contribute in it, they are Mohareb and Mortad, and the Judiciary should punish them properly.” According to the official news agency ILNA, the trial of seven  defendants,  who are accused of insulting the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, will be held on 3-5 January. No information about the defendants’ identity was provided. According to the public information bureau of the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s  Office  in Tehran, the files of these defendants had been completed and sent to the court.  Based on this report, some cases of  those detained during and following the Ashura protests would soon be sent to the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, following completion of the investigations. Several pro-government websites have reported that “imminent executions” will be soon carried out. The Campaign strongly condemns the criminalization of dissent by the Iranian authorities and calls for the release of over 1500 people who have been arrested during the past few weeks. For the latest human rights developments in Iran visit the Campaign’s website at For more information: Hadi Ghaemi, in New York: +1 917-669-5996 Aaron Rhodes, in Hamburg:  +49 170 323 8314