Iran Focus – Editorial: Since anti-government protests began in June 2009, the Iranian government has stepped up egregious human rights violations, including hangings, torture, degrading punishments and stoning, in an apparent bid to frighten a resentful society into submission.
Since anti-government protests began in June 2009, the Iranian government has stepped up egregious human rights violations, including hangings, torture, degrading punishments and stoning, in an apparent bid to frighten a resentful society into submission.
Dozens of women are believed to be awaiting their stoning sentence. One of them is Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, whose children have launched an international campaign to change her fate. Britain’s Guardian daily quotes Ms. Ashtiani’s son, Sajad, as saying: “Imagining her, bound inside a deep hole in the ground, stoned to death, has been a nightmare for me and my sister for all these years”.
Ms. Ashtiani was previously flogged 99 times as her son, 17 at the time, watched in horror. “They lashed her just in front my eyes, this has been carved in my mind since then,” he said.
On Saturday, the state-run daily Kayhan reported that authorities chopped off the hands of a man accused of petty theft in the western town of Malayer.
A day later, two prisoners were hanged in Zahedan on the nebulous charge of “moharebeh” or waging war on God. “This divine punishment”, according to the state-run Fars news agency, was meant to “establish security”.
On Wednesday, a 22-year-old will reportedly be executed. Mohammad Reza Hadadi was only 15 at the time of allegedly committing his offense.
The regime will likely intensify these measures at each anniversary of anti-government protests, particularly that of the 9 July 1999 student-led uprising.
The Norwegian government’s decision this week to summon the Iranian ambassador in protest to the Islamic Republic’s systematic human rights abuse is a good example to be followed by other countries. But, it is far from enough.
Just as the world has agreed to impose sanctions on the regime so long as it continues with its nuclear program, the UN Security Council must also take up Tehran’s abysmal human rights dossier. There is absolutely no conceivable excuse for youngsters like Sajad to be forced to bear the unimaginable psychological torment of visualising the stoning of their mother.