MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Iran’s policy towards perpetrators has often been a subject of criticism by the international community as the country uses the capital punishment for a wide range of crimes, being the second leading country in terms of execution frequency worldwide, as stated by Amnesty International.
In a recent case, a 26-year old Iranian woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was convicted for the murder of her attempted rapist and sentenced to death. The sentence sparked international outrage and forced Iranian authorities to postpone the execution. Jabbari was arrested in 2007, at the age of 19, after she stabbed a man, who was allegedly trying to sexually assault her. Her execution could become the 600th capital punishment case during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s term.
According to a Cornell University's database, Iranian authorities have carried out between 624 and 727 executions in 2013. This year, there were 531 capital punishment cases, as stated by the US Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre.
The capital punishment policy of the Iranian government has raised international concern and criticism. A number of human rights organizations and mass media claim that the new government has not met many countries’ expectations. According to the Telegraph, Rouhani has always positioned himself as a reform-minded politician. His moderate and rational approach to several political issues, including his willingness to solve the contentious nuclear problem and readiness to make concessions, has let the international community think he would favor changes in his domestic policy as well. However, despite positive expectations, the number of executions, carried out by Iranian authorities, remained nearly the same as in previous years.
”President Rouhani has attempted to cast himself as a mild-mannered reformist figure, but the brutal reality is that Iran is hanging an average of two prisoners a day, the vast majority after unfair trials,” said the head of policy and government affairs at Amnesty International, Allan Hogarth in a statement, cited by the Telegraph.
Iran is reported to be among the few countries which practice public executions. The crime rate in Iran is actually much lower than in many other countries as a possible effect. However, many executions are carried out after “deeply flawed investigations” and court secessions lasting “only minutes,” human rights organizations report.
The Jabbari case is a vivid illustration of serious shortcomings, ingrained in the Iranian judicial system. The circumstances of the murder have never been thoroughly investigated and her claims of self-defense have practically been ignored.
Amnesty International has expressed its hopes for a proper case investigation and the overturning of Jabbari’s death sentence, as reported by the Independent.
“We're obviously extremely relieved that Reyhaneh is out of immediate danger, but we're calling on the Iranian authorities to confirm that she won't be hanged in a week and a half's time and that instead there will be a full review of the deeply-flawed original investigation into her case," Amnesty representative said.
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