Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Hangman’s Noose Sways in the Stream of Violence

Farhad Rahbari, Rooz Online:
Once again executions in Iranian prisons are making headlines. Both Khaled Hardani, and two other suspects in Ahvaz bombings are sentenced to death. Hojat Zamani too was executed which his relatives confirmed. Eighteen-year-old Nazanin from the Hormozgan newspaper who was recently arrested over the publication of an article too is awaiting her death sentence. From political prisoners to young girls, the horrendous shadow of death has once again spread its wings over the Islamic Republic.

Dorri Najafabadi, Iran’s fundamentalist top prosecutor just announced that of the seven suspects detained in connection with the bombings in Ahvaz two had been sentenced to death. Five others also arrested for the Ahvaz incidents await their sentences, which will be heavy, according to the Attorney Genera. Najafabadi of course is well remembered for his brutal role in the serial murder of Iranian intellectuals and dissidents in the ‘90s. Seyed Mehran Rafii the PR official for the Khuzestan province confirmed that sentences had been passed on the 7 suspects in the bombings.

Jamal Karimirad who is Iran’s Minister of Justice and also the spokesperson for the judiciary told Mehr news agency that also confirmed the news when he said of the 45 people arrested in connection with the bombings, seven had been sentenced.

Then there is the case of Khaled Hardani and talk of his execution. He was initially arrested and charged with air piracy for hijacking an aircraft, along with other relatives. Subsequently it was discovered that contrary to the original charges against him, Hardani never belonged to any political organization and did this because he wanted to make some money. His sentence was rescinded and sent to an appellate court. But then came the news from some unidentified officials that he had been executed. Then another official denied that Hardani had been executed.

Hojat Zamani who is said to have belonged to the armed opposition group the Mojahedin Khalq was confirmed to have been executed by Justice Minister Jamal Karimirad. He is the fifth member in his family to be executed.

There is also news of the imminent execution of three women. One of them is the 18-year old Nazanin who is charged with killing a man in self-defence when she was 17. Delara is another 19 year old woman who also killed a person when she was 17.

Iran’s death row is occupied with individuals whose backgrounds range from political activism to young women, children, and men. The hangman’s noose that awaits these people dances in the currents of violence that are sweeping Iran nowadays. What haunted Iran in the ‘80s has once again returned. READ MORE

But it is ill-fated.