Iran Focus: London, Apr. 03 Britains Foreign Office has urged Iran to limit the number of executions it carries out. Iran Focus
London, Apr. 03 Britains Foreign Office has urged Iran to limit the number of executions it carries out.
We call on Iran to review the apostasy provisions of the draft penal code, and ensure that the new law respects and is fully consistent with Irans commitments under the international human rights conventions it has ratified, said Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells, according to a statement released on Wednesday by his office. He was referring to a draft Iranian penal code currently under debate by Irans hard-line dominated Majlis (or Parliament) which would make apostasy, heresy and witchcraft punishable by death.
We are opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, but in those countries where it is retained it should be imposed only for the most serious crimes and in strict accordance with international minimum standards. It should not be applied to juvenile offenders or for non-violent crimes such as adultery, consensual same-sex relations or religious belief, he said.
Howells raised the issue, along with concerns about the treatment of the Bahai community in Iran, in a meeting with the Iranian ambassador to the UK at the Foreign Office on Tuesday, the statement said.
Iran executes more people than any other country in the world apart from China and the use of the death penalty is increasing. According to independent human rights organisations Iran executed over 300 people in 2007, compared to 177 in 2006 and 94 in 2005, it added.