International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports despite the silence of the Iranian Judiciary officials about executions of people on drug charges, these executions continue in secret according to ICHRI reliable sources.
These executions have taken place in groups on a weekly basis for the last couple of months. Due to restrictions in obtaining information from inside the prison, the exact number of executed is not known, however reliable sources have confirmed 70 executions during this period.
According to sources the last group execution was on May 16, 2011. 10 people were hanged on that day. The people executed were all charged and convicted on possession and sale of drugs. These executions were performed without prior notification to families, defense lawyers and in some cases even the prisoners themselves.
Sources have told ICHRI these executions were performed without final verdict notification from the Supreme Court upholding the Appeals Court verdicts. Apparently Mashhad Prosecutor General is ordering these executions without going thru proper legal steps.
Cause of death on the death certificates issued for the people executed read “Legal Murder”. A government employee who has knowledge of these executions has told ICHRI that the death certificate for these people are issued inside Vakilabad prison hours before the executions take place and while the prisoner is still alive. Issuing a death certificate for a person still alive is illegal.
Despite the international news coverage that these secret executions have received the Iranian officials have remained silent and have not offered any explanation.
Others have confirmed these secret executions. Researcher Ahmad Ghabel who was imprisoned in Vakilabad twice, has also reported these secret executions.
Ahmad Ghabel reported 50 secret executions took place during his first prison stay and reported 60 executions took place during his second time prison stay.
Political prisoner Hashem Khastar also reported these secret executions in a letter he wrote to Judiciary Chief. In his letter he reported 63 people were executed on August 10, 2010.
Nephew of a man executed on 18 August, 2010 reported to ICHRI of 67 executions that took place. He told ICHRI that the 300 grams of drugs they executed his uncle for belonged to one of his uncle’s friends.
Many of the people convicted on drug charges say their court Proceedings were not just and in many cases verdicts were issued by judges without any evidence and solely based on confessions extracted under pressure and torture.