Iran is pushing the envelope when it comes to human rights violations – and the world (and the media) can no longer look the other way. While some media outlets are still holding onto the notion that the Rouhani administration is a “moderate” one, most have by now caught onto the fact that nothing could be further from the truth.
The latest appalling news from Iran – the death of a teenage boy, an execution which was presented as justice in the Islamic republic and as an atrocity everywhere else – drew the world’s attention once again to the horrors committed by the Islamic republic daily in the name of “justice.” Amid this horrific example of Iranian justice, Tehran’s “brazen” disregard for international law and human rights – including juvenile rights, LGBT rights and more – could not be ignored, with Amnesty International issuing a clear, unequivocal condemnation of both the execution and Iran’s policy of executing offenders in contravention of international law.
According to Amnesty International, the Iranian authorities executed 19-year-old Hassan Afshar, a juvenile offender who was arrested as a 17-year-old high school student and placed on death row, after convicting him of raping another boy as a juvenile (he maintained that the acts were consensual). Afshar, the first juvenile offender to be executed in Iran this year, was hanged “in anonymity,” without being informed of his death sentence beforehand – and with the Iranian authorities inhumanely misleading his family to believe his case was being reconsidered. A second juvenile offender, Alireza Tajiki, was scheduled for execution after Afshar; in this case, the execution was postponed amid public pressure – but could spell bad news for the dozens of juvenile offenders in Iran who are on death row.
The case of Afshar, who was seen as having been “executed for being gay,” received widespread attention from the Western press, particularly in the wake of Amnesty’s resounding condemnation.
Human Rights Watch, in an article termed saving Iran’s children from death row reports that scores of children are on the death row in Iran, quoting identifiable cases numbering from 49 to 160. Aside from the mass execution of adults.
Only recently the British Government released its Human_Rights_Report_2015_in which it states categorically that despite Rouhani’s pledges, “the situation in Iran appears to have worsened”.
While some media and human rights watch dogs have been alerted to the fact that the Rouhani regime is not so “moderate” as it presumes to be, how many human tragedies will it take for the politicians to get the message as well?