Early Sunday morning these two young men were executed in Tehran.
The two were part of a group that had robbed someone of the equivalent of a couple hundred dollars. We should blame the Iranian regime for the crime for which these men were sentenced. Young men like these are driven to petty crime because of unemployment, lack of opportunities and the socio-economic crisis. They did not have a hope. Their marginalization and brutalization pushes many over the edge.
These men should not have paid with their lives. Why execution??? A handful of the regime’s leaders are stealing the wealth of the nation and have amassed billions of dollars in their bank accounts while presiding over a legacy of murder, torture, rape and kidnap, to name but a few of their crimes … and these victims of the theocratic regime are executed?! Look at the fear in their eyes! You can be sure that they were not given due process or a fair trial in any real sense of those terms.
The terror in these young men’s eyes is one that most could not even begin to contemplate. When they committed their crimes, they surely would not for one moment have thought their folly would have led to this. Look at the man on the left – petrified to the point that he has rested his head on the shoulder of one of the regime’s executioners, whose job it will be to hang him minutes later. Petty criminals maybe they are, though what goes through the mind of these young souls, who should have a life ahead of them, in these moments?
Executions like these and the many others that take place regularly in Iran do not alleviate the symptoms of this broken and suffering country, let alone the real underlying causes. Iran has the highest rate of execution per population in the world. Yet as the situation in Tehran and many other cities and towns across the country testifies, the incidences of petty crime amongst a host of other social ills is extremely high. This is evident with many examples across jurisdictions that still use capital punishment. The Tudeh Party of Iran (Party of the Masses, Iran’s Communist Party) is explicitly opposed to capital punishment and its use under the Iranian Penal Code.
End executions …
End the terror in Iran!
Navid Shomali is international representative of Iran’s Tudeh Party.
Photo: Two young men about to be executed in Tehran, Jan. 20. Navid Shomali/Facebook