On Tuesday August 2nd 2016 The Islamic Regime in Iran executed more then 20 Kurdish activists of Sunni decent. While all these activists were “convicted” of allegedly committing terrorism related offences, there is serious doubt and concern about the lack of both due process and rule of law which eventually led to these mass executions.

The Islamic Regime in Iran is known for their lack of due process especially with respect to political prisoners. Often political prisoners are subjected to 10 minute mock trials, behind closed doors and without a jury, and more often then not without access to a lawyer.

The use of forced confessions obtained under torture is widespread and it’s often the only piece of “evidence” used to convict political prisoners of crimes they have not committed. The Islamic Regime in Iran is one of the world’s top executioners with at least 230 people having been executed so far this year. It is crucial to note that the number of actual executions might be much higher as many executions are also carried out behind the closed doors of prisons and are not reported.

While many of those executed are political prisoners who have not had a fair trial, the Regime in Iran does not discriminate when it comes to executions. Amnesty International recently reported the execution of a homosexual juvenile offender Hassan Afshar (19) who was convicted of “forced male to male anal intercourse.” By executing juvenile offenders the Islamic Regime in Iran has show that they have zero regard or respect for international conventions protecting the rights of juvenile offenders.

Canada must condemn the recent wave of political and non-political executions and hold the Islamic Regime in Iran accountable for their systematic lack of due process and legal procedure for detainees who have been charged with both political and non political offences.

Canada cannot turn a blind eye to the Islamic Regime’s serious and systematic human rights violations while considering renewing its political relationship with the Regime, until and unless the issues of human rights and mass executions are properly addressed.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian-Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activists


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