The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the 29 simultaneous executions which took place in Evin prison, Iran, on Sunday 27 July 2008.
It considers that the Iranian regime's action of staging these executions and making them the focus of media attention is an affront to human dignity.
The European Union remains convinced that capital punishment cannot form the basis of a fair and effective prosecution policy: the dissuasive effect of this penalty has never been proved and any judicial error is irreversible.
The European Union is deeply concerned by the increasing recourse to the death penalty in Iran in recent months. It urges the Iranian authorities to put an end to death sentences and executions, to establish a moratorium with a view to abolishing the death penalty in accordance with the resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 2007 and to respect international human rights standards for all Iranians.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
Iran flies in face of global execution trend
Statement by Amnesty International
Amnesty International is appalled by the mass
execution of 29 men in Tehran's Evin Prison on 27 July 2008. Their deaths
brought the number of executions carried out so far this year to 187. In 2007,
more executions were carried out in Iran - 317 - than in any other country
except China. Yet the population of Iran is 18 times smaller than China.
Announcing the executions, the Iranian authorities said those hanged had committed serious crimes such as drug smuggling and murder. However, they named only ten of the men executed and gave no other details about any trials in which the 29 were convicted. In other cases, prisoners have been sentenced to death and executed after unfair trials.
Several of the 29 condemned prisoners were interviewed prior to their execution by the state broadcaster, IRIB, which then broadcast extracts on national TV.
The Iranian authorities continue to fly in the face of the global trend when it comes to executions, despite the UN General Assembly resolution of 18 December 2007 which calls on States "to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty." The resolution, which was passed by a large majority of UN member states, also called on governments to inform the UN Secretary General about their observance of international "safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty."
Amnesty International unconditionally opposes the use of the death penalty in all cases and under any circumstances, since it violates the right to life and by its very nature constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
... Payvand News - 07/30/08 ... --