Amnesty International’s Report on; Iran’s New Code of Criminal Procedure
By Amnesty International,
11 February 2016
Nearly four decades after Iran’s 1979 Revolution shook its criminal justice system to the core, the country’s legal framework remains largely inadequate, inefficient and inconsistent with international fair trial standards, leaving individuals who come into contact with it with little or no protection. Amnesty International’s new report, Flawed reforms: Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, which came into force in June 2015.
The report welcomes the introduction of several long overdue reforms but expresses concern that the Code constitutes a lost opportunity as it fails, by and large, to do more than scratch the surface of the flaws that run deep in Iran’s criminal justice system.
“The issue is that there are individuals among lawyers who could be troublemakers.” Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, June 2015
These words were spoken by Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, in June 2015 in the wake of criticism directed at the authorities for imposing restrictions on the right to access a lawyer. While shocking, they are hardly surprising as they exemplify the long-standing lack of regard for due process in Iran’s criminal justice system. Iran’s 1979 revolution triggered a swift and fundamental transformation of the country’s justice system. Its aftermath witnessed vast numbers of people being arbitrarily detained, tortured and summarily executed with almost no regard for due process guarantees such as the right to have access to a lawyer from the time of arrest. Since then, relative order has gradually been restored to the justice system. Many laws hastily adopted after the revolution have been amended and improved. Iran has added the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the list of international treaties to which it is state party, a list which also includes those ratified before 1979, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
However, flaws in Iranian legislation and the failure to incorporate key human rights guarantees into national law persist, making the country’s legal framework largely inconsistent with international human rights law and standards. In fact, the unfair, summary and predominantly secret processes, and the special and revolutionary courts and tribunals established in the aftermath of the revolution, continue to characterize Iran’s criminal justice system, undermining the right of all to a fair trial In June 2015, a much anticipated new Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) entered into force in Iran.
The new CCP, which had been in the making for almost a decade, was passed by Parliament and signed into law by the President in April 2014. This new Code replaced a deeply flawed Code of Criminal Procedure, adopted in 1999, whose validity was supposed to last only for a trial period of three years but was repeatedly extended. The new Code introduces several long overdue reforms to Iran’s criminal justice system, including the restriction of the use of provisional pre-trial detention to situations where there is a risk of flight or a threat to public safety, stricter regulations governing the questioning of accused persons, and enhancement of the right to access a lawyer during the pre-trial period. However, it has failed to tackle many of the major shortcomings in Iran’s criminal justice system.
Please find the report attached and online at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2708/2016/en/
Joint Statement Calls for UN, EU and International Community to Put Death Penalty at Top of Agenda on Iran talks
World Coalition Against the Death Penalty
Joint Statement Calls for UN, EU and International Community to Put Death Penalty at Top of Agenda on Iran talks
According to reports from Iran the Kurdish political prisoner Shirko Moarefi was executed in the prison of Saghez (western Iran) this morning. The state run Iranian media also reported that five other prisoners convicted of murder were executed in the prison of Kermanshah.
In a statement published today November 4. the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) condemned the indiscriminate executions in Iran and urged the international community to put the death penalty on top of the agenda in their talks with the Iranian authorities.
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an alliance of more than 150 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and unions from all over the world.
The statement says:
Paris, 4. November 2013:
Iran: The indiscriminate executions continue – The UN, EU and the International community must put the situation of the death penalty at the top of the agenda in their dialogue with Iran
While the political climate between Iran and the international community has been improving since the election of President Rouhani, and the P5+1 Group is preparing their second round of nuclear negotiations with Iran, executions continue at a higher rate than before inside the country.
Forty-five executions in Iran have been confirmed since Saturday, October 26. We condemn this wave of lawlessness in the strongest possible terms.
Six executions took place this morning, November 4, according to reports from Iran: Shirkoo Moarefi, a Kurdish political prisoner, was hanged in the prison of Saghez (west of Iran), and five prisoners charged with murder were executed in the prison of Kermanshah. Following the execution of 18 prisoners on Saturday, October 26, among them two Kurdish political prisoners and 16 Baluchi prisoners executed in retaliation for an armed attack by insurgents the day before, another Baluchi prisoner was hanged on Monday, October 28, convicted of membership in a Baluchi militant group, and one prisoner was executed on Tuesday, October 29, convicted of drug-related charges.
Referring to the retaliatory execution of the 16 Baluchi prisoners, Florence Bellivier, President of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, stated, “The death penalty in Iran is often carried out in violation of international law; in this case none of the safeguards provided not only by international law but also by internal regulations were respected”.
Reports from Iran had indicated that at least 12 Kurdish prisoners might be in imminent danger of execution. Iran Human Rights (IHR) warned about the imminent danger of execution for four Sunni Kurd prisoners sentenced to death, convicted of the assassination of a Sunni Cleric. Those prisoners were in detention when the assassination took place. Amnesty International has also warned of the danger of execution for the two Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, reportedly tortured into “confessing” to the 2009 murder of the son of a senior cleric in Marivan, Kurdistan Province, and participating in armed activities with a Kurdish opposition group. Additionally, four Ahwazi Arab death row prisoners have been transferred to an unknown location and could be executed at any time.
Since the election of the new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani in June, at least 278 prisoners have been executed in Iran. Of those, 166 including one juvenile offender convicted of a murder committed at 14 years of age, have been announced by official sources. This is a higher monthly average number of executions than in recent years. In the same period, the diplomatic ties between Iran and the international community have improved and EU and the P5+1 Group have resumed their dialogue with Iran.
“It is a paradox that the relations between Iran and the international community improve at the same time as the number of the executions in Iran increases. Notably, many of the death row prisoners are subjected to torture, forced confessions and unfair trials,” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights. “Demanding a halt to the executions and due process of law must be on top of the agenda in the dialogue between the international community and Iran”.
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an alliance of more than 150 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and unions, was created in Rome on 13 May 2002. The aim of the World Coalition is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty. Its ultimate objective is to obtain the universal abolition of the death penalty.
A letter from young Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, addressed to Dr. Ahmed Shaheed : “Save us from execution!
A letter from young Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, addressed to Dr. Ahmed Shaheed (United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran) and Human Rights advocacy institutions: “Save us from execution!
Zanyar (left) and Loghman (right) Moradi have been imprisoned and in danger of execution since their unlawful arrested on August 2, 2009.
New letter from young Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi, addressed to Dr. Ahmed Shaheed (United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran) and Human Rights advocacy institutions: “Save us from execution!
Receiving such a letter [from a political prisoner] may not be anything new to you, but we [Zanyar and Loghman Moradi] [have no option but to] rely on and seek the help of the United Nations and Human Rights organizations in order to prove our innocence and save our lives from the unjust death sentences that have been imposed on us. If needed, we will write [more] letters [to you] in order to save ourselves from our intricate situation and this unjust sentence.
As we have communicated to you before, we have endured much pain and suffering in the past five years. [We have been subjected to:] scenarios fabricated by the Ministry of Intelligence, acts of revenge and hatred aimed to destroy the youth [of this land], isolation from our families, and ordeals better left unsaid so that we [don’t conjure up] the bitter and unpleasant memories associated with them. After enduring all the suffering, and despite the spread of information about our situation, we continue to feel extreme agony and fatigue. However, [Human Rights organizations and the United Nations] have helped prevent the spread of our wounds [and the weakening of our resolve by providing us with humanitarian aid]. We owe being alive up until now to their efforts. Another reason is that our innocence has given us the self-confidence to repeatedly state the fact that we have been victims of a false and fabricated judicial case filed against us.
As we have written in the past, in all stages of our case, from arrest to the time the sentence was handed down, the laws were belligerently broken. [Some of these unlawful acts include:] Long and severe torture, which led to the maiming of our bodies; months-long solitary confinement; lack of the possibility to visit with or even make phone calls to our family members; intimidation; personal and religious insults; and forcing us to make false, self-incriminating confessions.
We have no hope in the Islamic Republic to investigate and follow up with our case. However, as two young men on death row, as two men who live under the shadow of imminent death, we expect you to [take the necessary measures] in order to restore the violated rights of us, two Kurdish citizens, and other prisoners of conscience as well.
Ghohardasht Prison [Rajai Shahr Prison] , Karaj, Iran
September 5, 2013
ZANYAR & LOGHMAN MORADI – QUICK INFORMATION
Date of Arrest: August 2, 2009
Prison: Rajai Shahr (I.e. Gohardasht), Karaj
Charges (each): “Moharebeh (Enmity with God). Charged as a result of an accusation by the Iranian regime that Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were involved in the 2009 assassination of Saadi, the son of a senior clergy member in Kurdistan, the Friday Prayer Imam in Marivan; “Causing sedition and depravity on Earth”.
Sentences: Death penalty. To be hanged in public. Issued on 22 December 2010, branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court- presided by Judge Salavati. They were sentenced to death for “Membership in the Komele Party” and “Involvement in the murder of the Marivan Friday Prayer Imam’s son on the night of 5 July 2009.”
Attorney: Hossein Paidar, however Islamic Republic authorities have deprived Zanyar and Loghman Moradi of their right to a lawyer throughout all judicial stages of their case.
Amnesty International reports that Zanyar and Loghman Moradi are at IMMINENT DANGER OF EXECUTION since their “death sentences have been sent to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences, a body within the Judiciary, which is the final step before being called for execution.”
Please click here for more information on Zanyar and Loghman Moradi and how you may take action.