Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

VOA Reports on Recent Executions

January 25, 2011

Persian Report by Kianoosh Sanjari, Voice of America
English translation by Faraz Fanaeian, Persian2English

VOA News: On the morning of January 24th, two more political prisoners were executed in Iran: Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaie, both accused of communicating and cooperating with the PMOI (People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran). The implementation of execution sentences of political and non-political prisoners has increased after the 2009 Iranian Presidential election.

“The Iranian government is faced with many challenges and problems and it seems that [government authorities] want to control society by executing [citizens] and creating fear among them. [Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran] think they can solve problems like drug addiction by pervasive executions. But last year’s experience shows that [executions] just make Iran rank higher in the global capital punishment list. Even countries with good relations with Iran like Cuba and Venezuela avoid capital punishment.” (Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran)

The organization Human Rights Watch, in their 2011 World Report, stated that western countries are to be blamed because “dialogue and cooperation should not substitute for public pressure when the government in question lacks the political will to respect the rights [of its citizens]. Also, the quest for cooperation is not an excuse for inaction.” Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch said, “Dialogue between governments and the European Union is a typical example of this global trend.”

Roya Boroumand, one of the directors of the Boroumand Foundation said, “Dialogue can only be effective when it is consistent, both parties take it seriously, and its failure has consequences. In the case of Iran, such has not been the case . The parties showed that human rights was not a priority by not including the Judiciary nor the human rights organizations, that had information about human rights abuses, in their dialogue. The dialogue did not yield any significant results as it was clear that human rights issues were not as much of a priority as oil, gas, and other contracts. Hence, the Islamic Republic authorities did not feel compelled to satisfy the demands or consider the suggestions of their interlocutors.”

Human Rights Watch said, “Barack Obama, in his second year of presidency, emphasized the importance of human rights and he even gave some speeches about it, but different sectors of his government did not deliver a strong enough message to defend the rights of humans…Countries like Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran will not end their suppression because they do not have limits for the amount of human rights violations they commit.”

اعدام جعفر کاظمي و محمد علي حاج آقايي در تهران

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