June 16, 2012 Source : http://universaltolerance.org
Universal Tolerance (UTO) In the next few days, four Iranian citizens are set to be executed by hanging in public in the city of Tehran. According to the Iranian judicial officials, all four men have been convicted of sexual assault and condemned to death by hanging. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s judiciary officials claim that three of the convicted have sexually assaulted young women and female youths, and one has sexually assaulted a male youth. According to the judicial officials, one of the convicted men named “Siamak” has assaulted a 17 year old boy on a farm in Varamin. On January 15, 2007, the victim goes to the police station and states “I was walking down the street when Siamak approached me on a motorcycle. He lives in our neighbourhood and I knew him. He offered me to take a ride with him and took me to an isolated farm. He then threatened me with a knife and sexually assaulted me. He threatened to kill me if I told anyone.” Police arrests Siamak. During the primary investigations, Siamak is unable to obtain a lawyer and confesses under pressure from the police officers. The police was suspecting that the accused might have assaulted other boys but there is no evidence for additional charges against him. The case is deliberated in a closed court (Branch 72 of Tehran’s Provincial Punitive Court) and condemned to death by hanging.
The second condemned man is reported to have sexually assaulted three women. On July 20, 2008 a young woman filed a complaint with Karaj Police and said “My husband is in prison. A few days ago I was at home when the phone rang and a guy who introduced himself as my husband’s cellmate said that he has a parcel for me from my husband. He asked me for my address and because I believed him, I gave the address. When he came to our house, he threatened me with a knife, sexually assaulted me and fled.” While the police was searching for the accused, two other women came forward with similar complaints. One of them said “A man called and claimed to have evidence that my husband is cheating on me with another woman. He asked for the address to show me the evidence and when he arrived, he threatened me with a knife and sexually assaulted me.” The other woman repeated the same story and gave a description of the accused that matched the ones given by the first victim. Police was finally able to arrest the accused. He confessed to sexual assault in the investigation and was condemned to death in Branch 80 of Tehran’s Provincial Punitive Court. The decision was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Iran.
The third condemned man is claimed by judicial officials to have sexually assaulted a female university student. On October 23, 2008, the woman explained the incident to the police and states “I am a university student and on the day of incident I was coming to Tehran from my hometown. In Azadi Square I took a private taxi to travel to my aunt’s in Apadana neighborhood. I thought the car is a taxi but after a while the driver stopped and attacked me with a knife. I tried to escape but realized that the car doors do not open from the inside. I could not fight him and he ignored my requests and pleads and sexually assaulted me but when he was getting back behind the wheels, I took his cell phone and escaped.” The detectives were able to identify the man from the pictures in his cell phone and arrest him. He also was condemned to death after a trial in Branch 79 of Tehran’s Provincial Punitive Court, the decision was confirmed by Supreme Court of Iran.
The last condemned man is convicted of having sexually assaulted a female university student in the bushes by Azadi Square. This woman has come back to Tehran, from Isfahan where she studies Dentistry, on the day of the incident. She was approaching her father’s car which was waiting for her and was passing through the bushes when the accused attacked and sexually assaulted her. She was also able to take the attacker’s cell phone which led to his arrest in a set-up. At first, he confessed to the crime but during trial at Branch 72 of Tehran’s Provincial Punitive Court he denied the accusations. He was condemned to death, the decision was overturned later and he later defended himself in Branch 77 of Tehran’s Provincial Punitive Court. Again, the deliberations led to his conviction which was denied by the Supreme Court of Iran. Finally a committee of judges in the Supreme Court condemned him to death. This case did not include any evidence to prove that the accused has sexually assaulted the victim, but the religious prejudice of the judges of the Islamic Republic of Iran led to his conviction.
In 2009 and after people’s protests to the results of the presidential elections, Mr. Sadegh Larijani replaced Mr. Hashemi Shahroodi as Chief of Justice. While Hashemi Shahroodi was Chief of Justice, several statements were made according to Human Rights; recommendations such as a ban on execution of children under 18, stoning and a ban on public executions. These recommendations, however, did not have legal value but encouraged judges to hand out sentences with caution. But this changed during Larijani’s time. His policies on more violence to prevent crime and his ideas on Islamic law resulted in the “revival” of sentences that were disappearing such as chopping off arms and legs, blinding and public executions.
In Iran, many people are condemned to death and deprived of life for several reasons like carrying drugs, murder or political “crimes” and some of them are executed in public. Such policies have not decreased crime, but have in fact increased them. Violent punishments have not been able to prevent crime. Carrying out executions without thinking about lives of humans have also led to Saudi Arabi’s recent execution of Iranian citizens with beheading by a sword. Universal Tolerance Organization believes that violence cannot be answered by violence and to prevent crime, the root causes of it must be studied by criminology, psychology and sociology experts. This organization asks Iranian and other governments to increase tolerance within themselves and their citizens and to replace research-based and appropriate punishments with violent ones to prevent crime. This organization believes that killing people in public not only does not create fear of punishment, but also teaches killing and desensitises citizens against death of humans. As a result, Universal Tolerance Organization, asks the Judicial System of Iran to abolish the death penalty as soon as possible.