Iran Executes Entire Male Population of Village
Sun, February 28, 2016
Execution in Iran (Photo: © Reuters)
All of the men in an Iranian village have been executed by the government. Reports about the executions do not mention if they men were given trials or if the executions were carried out en masse or gradually.
The government accused the men of drug trafficking, an offense punishable by death in Iran. The unnamed village is located in the Sistan and Baluchestan province that borders both Pakistan and Afghanistan and is known to be a key area involved in smuggling opium and other narcotics.
“The apparent hanging of every man in one Iranian village demonstrates the astonishing scale of Iran’s execution spree. These executions – often based on juvenile arrests, torture, and unfair or nonexistent trials – show total contempt for the rule of law, and it is shameful that the UN and its funders are supporting the police forces responsible,” said Maya Foa, an anti-death penalty spokeswoman for the group Reprieve.
According to Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. special rapporteur monitoring human rights violations in Iran, the area where the village is located “is arguably the most underdeveloped region in Iran, with the highest poverty, infant and child mortality rates, and lowest life expectancy and literacy rates in the country. The province…experiences a high rate of executions for drug-related offences or crimes deemed to constitute ‘enmity against God’ in the absence of fair trials.”
The execution came to light in an interview with Iranian Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi in the semi-official news agency Mehr, who was advocating for support for the families.
“We have a village in Sistan and Baluchestan province where every single man has been executed,” she said. “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families. There is no support for these people.”
Molaverdi continued, “We believe that if we do not support these people, they will be prone to crime, that’s why the society is responsible for the families of those executed.”
A bill was recently introduced in Iran’s national assembly to reduce the sentence for drug trafficking to life imprisonment.
Worldwide, Iran is only second to China in executions, according to Amnesty International. Since “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani has taken over, executions have significantly increased. In 2014, the Islamic Republic hanged 753 people, of which more than half were due to drug crimes. In the first half of 2015 alone, 700 deaths -- “a staggering execution rate,” according to Amnesty – were recorded.
Iran also has a record of executing juveniles. In the 10 years between 2005 and 2015, Iran executed 73 juveniles. Amnesty says the rate of juvenile executions is also on the rise.