Following is translation of an article by prominent human rights lawyer Mohamad Mostafaei who currently lives in exile in Norway on HARANA (Human Rights House of Iran).
On September 4, 2011, Iranian news site ISNA reported 6 convicts were hanged in Ahvaz, Khozestan province. In that news article the charges of the men hanged were reported as, one convicted of drug trafficking, two charged with rape, and three were convicted of religiously prohibited and unlawful acts.
While in the Islamic penal code there are many acts that are religiously prohibited and unlawful, such as Hejab (Islamic dress code) and not observing fast during the fasting month (Ramadan), however, the punishment for them is not a death sentence.
Khozestan Judiciary Public Relations Spokesman, Mr. Abdolhamid Amanat in a news conference announced the hanging of the six men.
With regards to the three men that are the subject of this article he said, “The death sentences of three convicts identified as M. T, T. T and M. CH were carried out this morning.
These three men, based on Articles 108 and 110 of the Islamic penal code had been sentenced to death by Branch 17 of the Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz for religiously prohibited and unlawful acts.”
Here, I would like to bring your attention to the horrendous and unjust criminal act committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. An act that is the same as murder:
1- The Islamic Revolutionary Court does not have the authority to try religiously prohibited and unlawful acts, such as adultery and sodomy charges.
The Legislative Branch has clearly determined the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Court and these sort of cases (adultery and sodomy) clearly fall under the jurisdiction of the Public Court and under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Court. Therefore, based on these facts, the executions of these three men were completely arbitrary and selective.
2- It is not clear whether these three men had any lawyers. Who were their lawyers? Were they lawyers whose license to practice was issued by the government, and did they appeal their client’s sentences?
And tens and hundreds more questions that there is not enough room here to ask.
It is a fact that, in Iran, lawyers are not permitted to defend the rights of people in such cases. If they do defend these sort of cases and speak in protest, their voice will be silenced. Furthermore, this is also part of the problem, in this case, or better said, this crime that was committed.
3- Articles 108 and 110 of the Islamic Republic penal code refer to homosexuality. If two men engage in sexual act it is called “Lavat” (sodomy). If arrested, based on Article 110 of the Islamic penal code they will be convicted of murder.
Therefore, based on these Articles, these three Khozestan province citizens were sentenced to death and were hanged on sodomy charges.
Although, I am sure that the three hanged men were innocent and were victims of the decisions and actions of Khozestan Judiciary Chief and other Judiciary officials, however, We should not forget what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech during his visit to New York for the UN general assembly when he said “We don’t have homosexuals in Iran and no one will be punished for homosexuality in the country”.
But, of course, many innocent people are charged with and convicted of these bogus accusations and are executed in various cities in Iran.
At his press conference, this Judiciary official, in conclusion said: “The criminals, thugs, hoodlums and the violators of people’s rights should change the path they have chosen and repent, otherwise Khozestan Judiciary will not be lenient in dealing with these criminals.”
I ask, does this Mr. Chief of Judiciary even hold a degree? Has he lived in the current society at all? The criminals and thugs and hoodlums do not sit on the Internet to hear your orders. They don’t read the newspapers to hear your vague instructions and speeches.
You can not stops crimes from occurring by executing and spilling innocent people’s blood. Instead of spilling Iranian citizens’ blood, you should eradicate the roots of the crime. If you are not capable of solving the complex tangled web of crimes, then step aside and let someone who is capable resolve this tangled web.
In any case, these three young men were put to death in Khozestan against the very strict legal procedures, and the Islamic Republic must be held accountable for spilling the blood of these three men and others in similar situations.