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The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issues its report The Death Penalty in Iran and Fair Trial Guarantees

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Press Release

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Today, Thursday, January 12, 2022, the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issues a report on the death penalty in Iran and fair trial guarantees, which deals with Iran’s violation of the right to life of its citizens through the application of the death penalty in violation of international conventions and covenants on human rights, as well as the trial’s lack of fair and equitable guarantees. The report included a number of cases during the years 2021-2022. The report defines the death penalty, the position of international covenants and conventions on the right to life and the application of the death penalty, and stating the position of different countries on it.

It also showcases Iran’s position on the application of the death penalty in accordance with its national laws, the philosophy of the death penalty in Iran, the cases in which the death penalty is applied, and the procedures for carrying out the death penalty in accordance with Iranian law.

Finally, it includes a group of execution cases that Iran applied to different crimes, such as premeditated murder, drugs, robbery, and joining armed groups, as well as another group of cases in which death sentences were issued against, but have not yet been implemented, in light of the recent protests that Iran has witnessed since September 2022.

There has been a debate about maintaining or abolishing the death penalty. Most countries, especially European countries, agreed to abolish it. There is a group of countries that agreed to apply it in exceptional and serious crimes only. However, there are a few countries that still apply it in many crimes and in large numbers every year, including Iran, which holds a record for the death penalty.

Iran is considered one of the few countries that apply the death penalty to children under the age of 18, despite the fact that it signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The report concluded with a set of recommendations as follows:

  • Complying with the rules of fair and equitable trial in all crimes, especially crimes punishable by death, and giving the accused the right to appoint a lawyer to defend him.
  • Reducing the crimes punishable by death to be exceptionally serious crimes only.
  • Committing to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and not imposing the death penalty on children who have not reached the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime.
  • Releasing clear statements by the government regarding the real numbers of people executed and the crime they committed.
  • Issuing sentences other than the death penalty for crimes related to politics, and crimes that do not constitute a threat to society.
  • Accepting appeals from all defendants sentenced to death to ensure a fair trial, as new evidence may emerge in the case.
  • Not rushing to issue death sentences in anticipation of errors in the investigations and the possibility of acquittal appearing after the execution of the sentence.

For his part, Saeed Abdel Hafez stressed the need to provide guarantees for a fair trial, which were confirmed by all international human rights conventions, before imposing the death penalty inside Iran, which takes place quickly and is implemented quickly.

Al-Hilali Muhammad, a researcher at the FDHRD, also pointed out that most of the execution cases that were carried out lacked the guarantees of a fair and just trial. They did not have the opportunity to contact a lawyer or defend themselves. The executions are carried out quickly, especially with the crimes related to “moharebeh” (waging war against God) and “efsad-e fel arz” (corruption on earth).

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