Early this week dozens of Sunni prisoners in Gohardasht Prison in the city of Karaj in Iran were hanged. The families of the victims who had gone to say their final farewell, were told they were too late and their loved ones were already dead. Instead of saying goodbye, the families were told to go to the morgue to collect the bodies.
The Iranian authorities did not even allow the families of victims to come close to the bodies of their children and in fear of popular protests they prevented burial in their hometowns in Kurdistan. The victims were buried in section 305 of the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery near Tehran.
The prisoners had been moved by security forces hours earlier with reports of inmates’ hands and feet being chained and their mouths taped shut and heads covered with bags. Most victims had been arrested between 2009 and 2011 and had been tortured between 18 to 31 months in solitary cells.
The hangings on 2 August come during the anniversary of the executions in summer of 1988 when thousands of political prisoners were executed over a five month period.
Names of 25 Sunni political prisoners executed are Shahram Ahmadi, 29; two brothers by the names of Kaveh and Arash Sharifi, 32 and 26; three brothers by the names of Mohammad Yavar, Mokhtar and Bahman Rahimi, 31, 33 and 38; Kaveh Vaisi32, Behrouz Shahnazari, 31; Taleb Maleki, 31; Ahmad Nassiri, 35; Shahou Ebrahimi, 31; Pourya Mohammadi, Aalem Barmashti, Varya Ghaderifard, Keivan Momenifard, Idris Nemati, Farzad Honarjoo, Mohammad Gharibi, Keivan Karimi, Amjad Salehi, Omid Payvand, Ali Mojahedi (Ali Iraqi), Hekmat Sharifi (Hekmat Iraqi), Omar Abdollahi (Hamzeh Iraqi) and Omid Mahmoudi.
The Friends of a Free Iran in the European parliament, which has the support of around 300 MEPs from different political groups, strongly condemns this barbaric act which is a crime against humanity. More than 2,500 people have been hanged in Iran under Hassan Rouhani, who falsely claimed to seek moderation. He has never uttered a word against executions but has praised death sentences as law of God.
We call on the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council and the EU High Representative Mrs Federica Mogherini to publicly condemn these executions and bring the record of the Iranian regime’s crimes before the International Criminal Court. All economic relations with Iran must be suspended and conditioned to a halt of executions and a clear progress on human rights.
Gérard Deprez MEP
Chair of Friends of a Free Iran