Executions on the increase in Iran
Although the UN called on nations to abolish the death penalty, this cruel form of punishment still exists in Iran, and it is feared that executions have ramped up following protests contesting last year’s presidential elections. Masses have been seen on the streets carrying signs of protest, and it is feared that Iranian officials are now using executions to scare people off. In 2009 alone, Iran had over 388 executions, and even though a majority of the recent executions are all related to criminal offenses, it is no coincidence that the numbers have increased substantially. It is reported that between the June election and the presidential inauguration, at least one hundred people have been put to death.
Two men were arrested and later executed on grounds of being “enemies of God”, being members of armed groups, among other charges. This incidence has triggered a lot of criticism from various human rights organizations around the world. A lawyer of one of the victims, who was quickly tried and later sentenced to death, was quoted to have said, “An execution with this speed and rush has only one explanation ... the government is trying to prevent the expansion of the current (opposition) movement through the spread of fear and intimidation.” It is certain that the speedy trials are unfair and a violation of human rights. Opposition groups in Iran claim the presidential election had been rigged to ensure the re-election of current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.