Posted by: bahareiran | August 10, 2011

Iran public execution outrages human rights groups

Saeed Kamali Dehghan

The graphic video, released by Amnesty International on Thursday, showed guards standing on top of buses draping ropes around necks of three convicts sentenced to death by hanging after being convicted of rape. The men were later hanged from an overhead bridge after the vehicles drove away.

The executions, which took place on 19 July in the western city of Kermanshah, home to Iran`s Kurd minority, attracted significant crowds, including children.

The release of the video follows human rights groups` alarm over the sharp escalation in capital punishment in Iran.

Activists said two weeks ago that Iran has executed an average of almost two people a day in the first six months of this year.

Speaking to the Guardian by phone from Kermanshah, the Iranian who filmed Amnesty`s video said: ‘I was there, the executions took place at the centre of the city in Azadi Square at 10 in the morning when people were busy with their businesses or shopping.

‘Authorities didn`t have any consideration for innocent children who were accompanying their parents and suddenly watched an execution which I would guess would be carved in their mind forever’…

Rebin Rahmani of HRANA, a human rights website, said 450 people in Kermanshah prison, convicted of charges such as rape or drug-trafficking, have been handed down death sentence and are currently awaiting execution. (The Guardian – Jul. 22, 2011)

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