Saturday, October 10, 2009

Iran: Protestors death sentence a mockery of justice

Amnesty International today urged Iran to rescind a death sentence imposed on Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani, the first person to be sentenced to death for protesting the disputed June presidential election. The human rights organization said it fears Zamani's death sentence will pave the way for more death sentences against others involved in the protests.

Zamani, 37, was sentenced to death by a Tehran Revolutionary Court on Thursday after his conviction on a string of charges including "enmity against God," "gathering and colluding with intent to harm national internal security," "propaganda against the system," and leaving the country illegally, allegedly to meet in Iraq with U.S. military officials.

"Zamani's trial was a mockery of justice," said Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox. "To impose the death sentence is beyond deplorable. Iran should immediately rescind this sentence."

He is among more than 100 people currently on trial before a Tehran Revolutionary Court stemming from the protests following the June 12 presidential election. Amnesty International fears that Zamani's death sentence will pave the way for more death sentences against those being tried on similar offenses.

At least 13 other individuals are currently at risk of being executed in Iran, ahead of World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10. The observances included a gathering at the Swedish embassy in Washington DC of ambassadors of the nations of the European Union (EU) who called on all nations to abolish the death penalty.

Amnesty International continues to urge the Iranian authorities to impose an immediate and comprehensive moratorium on executions, as a first step toward ending the use of this punishment.

SOURCE Amnesty International

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