Last Updated: Sun Oct 17, 2010 00:12 am (KSA) 21:12 pm (GMT)

US calls on Iran to halt "imminent" executions

US State Secretary Hillary Clinton cited the case of an 18-year-old who faces possible execution over homosexuality charges (File)
US State Secretary Hillary Clinton cited the case of an 18-year-old who faces possible execution over homosexuality charges (File)

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday the United States was concerned about rights defenders in Iran who face "imminent" execution and urged Tehran to halt plans to kill them.

Clinton cited the case of an 18-year-old who faces possible execution over homosexuality charges as well as the recent case of a woman who faced death by stoning after being found guilty of adultery.

"We remain troubled by the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who garnered international attention for her verdict of death by stoning," Clinton said.

"While the Iranian government later stated she would not face execution by stoning, her fate is unclear."

"We are also troubled by reports that Ibrahim Hamidi, an 18-year-old charged with homosexuality, faces imminent execution despite the fact that he is currently without legal representation."

Clinton alleged that "neither case has proceeded with the transparency or due process enshrined in Iran's own constitution" and noted that the lawyer representing them "felt that he had to flee Iran."

She also named three political dissidents who were detained after high-profile street protests in 2009.

"We are also concerned about the fate of Iranians who are in danger of imminent execution for exercising their right to free expression after the June 2009 elections," Clinton said in a statement, naming Jafar Kazemi, Mohammed Haj Aghaei, and Javad Lari.

"The United States urges the Iranian government to halt these executions in accordance with its obligations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners and imprisoned human rights defenders."

Clinton was referring to the 1966 U.N. treaty on fundamental freedoms, which Iran ratified before the 1979 Islamic revolution overthrew the pro-Western shah.

The United States, the only major Western nation to practice the death penalty, is also part of the treaty but lodged reservations, due in particular to the language over capital punishment.

Comments »

Post Your Comment »

Social Media »