Iran Hangings 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
While China is believed to have executed thousands of people in 2010 – more than
all other countries combined – authorities there have not acknowledged carrying
out any executions. On the other hand, the Iranian government admitted to
executing 252 people, including five women and a juvenile, last
Amnesty International stated it received reports of over 300
additional executions carried out in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad,
Iran. Fourteen people were publicly executed in Iran last year, and most
of those executed had been convicted of drug-related offenses.
UN: Iran has intensified crackdown, executions
Iran, China, N. Korea execute hundreds in 2010'
in Iran are often held for lengthy periods of time prior to trial, where they
are at grave risk of being subjected to torture and other ill treatment;
political prisoners are often held incommunicado,” Amnesty stated in the report.
“Trials are generally unfair and detainees are systematically denied – by law –
access to a lawyer until investigations have been completed, which can take many
months. Proceedings, particularly those held outside the capital Teheran, are
often summary, lasting only a few minutes.”
Amnesty noted that in January
2010, two Iranian men involved in the June 2009 post-election protests were
hanged. They had been convicted of “enmity against God,” and of belonging to an
illegal group which supports the exiled Iranian monarchy. Their lawyers were not
told of the executions.
In December 2010, Ali Akbar Siadat was hanged
after he was convicted of spying for Israel. Four Kurds were hanged on May 9,
2010, and at least 17 more were on death row at the end of the
Amnesty also reported that at least 10 women and four men were at
risk of being stoned as punishment for alleged adultery, and at least one woman
might be hanged for the same offense.
The 252 figure puts Iran in the
lead globally for acknowledged executions in 2010.
According to Amnesty,
at least 527 executions were carried out in 23 nations. In addition, at least
2,024 new death sentences were handed down in 67 countries.
In the Middle
East and North Africa, Iran accounted for most of the 378 known executions
carried out in 2010.
Yemen executed at least 53 people, followed by Saudi
Arabia with at least 27, Libya with at least 18, Syria with at least 17 and
Egypt with four.
In 16 countries in the region, 748 death sentences were
imposed, with Iraq (at least 279), Egypt (185) and Algeria (at least 130) in the
lead, followed by Saudi Arabia (at least 34), the United Arab Emirates (at least
28), Yemen (at least 27), Tunisia (at least 22), Lebanon (at least 12), Syria
(at least 10) and Jordan (at least nine).
In Gaza, Hamas authorities
executed five people and handed down 11 death sentences in 2010, according to
Amnesty. Two men convicted of involvement with murder and collaboration with
Israel by military courts in 2009 were executed in Gaza City on April 15, 2010.
Three other men convicted of murder were put to death in Gaza City on May 18,
Amnesty noted that on February 18, 2010, a Lebanese military court
sentenced Mahmoud Rafeh to death for “collaboration and espionage on behalf of
the enemy,” and involvement in a car-bombing that killed an Islamic Jihad
official and his brother in Sidon in 2006. A Palestinian man was
sentenced to death in absentia after being convicted of charges related to the
In June, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said he would be
willing to sign death warrants for those convicted of working with
Meanwhile, in Washington, shortly after the release of the
Amnesty report, Freedom House and the Progressive Policy Institute announced the
formation of a new Iran policy task force, “Beyond Sanctions: The Next Iran
The task force will make recommendations to, and meet with,
diplomats and members of the Obama administration and the US
Besides the founding organizations, the task force and its
advisory board include representatives from the Atlantic Council, University of
Maryland, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, American Israel Public Affairs
Committee, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Council on Foreign Relations,
Woodrow Wilson Center, Stanford University, Washington Institute for Near East
Policy and Bard College.
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