After UN, Australia condemns execution of protesters in Iran

After UN, the Australian government leaders also condemned the execution of protestors in Iran. While reaching out to Twitter, Australian MP Mark Dreyfus said, “The continued killing of demonstrators in Iran is a despicable effort to terrorize and suppress the populace. Australia rejects the death sentence for everyone and in all situations. We shall keep fighting for Iranians who are being executed because they exercised their right to protest”.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Penny Wong also said, “Australia denounces the death of Iranian demonstrators. We demand that all executions stop immediately in Iran. Australia rejects the death sentence for everyone and in all situations. Iran will continue to be held accountable through our domestic efforts and those of our partners”.

In breach of international human rights law, the Iranian government is using criminal prosecution and the death sentence as weapons to punish protesters and instill fear in the populace in an effort to quell dissent, Volker Türk, the UN human rights chief, had said earlier.

Four protesters who participated in recent demonstrations were put to death over the course of the past month after hurried trials that fell short of the minimal standards for a fair trial and due process mandated by international human rights law that Iran is bound by, according to him. This makes their deaths amount to an arbitrary deprivation of life.

“Weaponizing criminal procedures to punish people for asserting their fundamental rights, such those organizing or taking part in demonstrations, equates to state-sanctioned homicide,” added Türk.

The Government of Iran would better serve its interests and the interests of its people if it listened to their complaints and implemented the legal and policy changes required to ensure respect for difference of opinion, the right to free expression and assembly, and the full respect and protection of women’s rights in all spheres of life,” according to the report.

The application of ambiguously worded criminal provisions, denial of access to a lawyer of one’s choice and the right to present a defense, forced confessions obtained through torture and cruel treatment, disregard for the presumption of innocence, and denial of a meaningful right to appeal conviction are just a few examples of violations of due process and fair trial guarantees noted by the UN Human Rights Office.

Furthermore, according to Türk, the convictions that led to the death sentences were for offenses like moharebeh (waging war against God) and efsad-e fel arz (corruption on earth), which are far from being considered “the most serious crimes” as needed by international human rights legislation. This refers to extremely serious crimes like purposeful murder.

The first of the four executions, that of Mohsen Shekari, reportedly took place on December 8, 2022. Only 23 days following his arrest on November 19, Majdireza Rahanavard was put to death four days later. Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini were put to death on January 7, 2023. All were executed without the families’ knowledge or consent. This alone represents a transgression of international human rights law.

Up to 100 additional people are expected to be charged with capital offenses, and at least 17 more have already received death sentences.

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