BIENNIAL HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON THE QUESTION OF THE DEATH PENALTY
Honorable Panelists Today early in the morning when most of us were sleeping, Hamed Ahmadi, Kamal Malali, Jamshid Dehghani and Jahangir Dehghani who are mentioned in the report of the Secretary General to this session (A/HRC/28/26), along with Sedigh Mohammadi and Hadi Hosseini were executed. Back in Iran, Narges Mohammadi, spokeswoman for the Defenders of Human Rights Centre of which, Shirin Ebadi the Noble Prize Laureate is the chairperson, along with Mohammad Nourizad one of the founders of LEGAM (Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty), prisoners family members and hundreds other anti-death penalty activists stayed awake until morning. Mohana, the daughter of one of the prisoners Hamed Ahmadi was also watching the walls of prison trembling in Narges Mohammadi’s arms. The family members of these six Sunni Muslim men from Iran’s Kurdish minority had a brief visit of farewell with their beloved ones yesterday in the notorious RajaiShahr prison. The prisoners were in a metal cage with bars and their hands were cuffed and their feet were chained and the family members could only talk with them from a distance. Due process was not followed. According to the Secretary General’s report at least 500 people are believed to have been executed from January to November of 2014. Is it not possible to prevent such mass killings so that we can spare the lives of around 1500 until the next biennial panel on the death penalty? At this panel the agenda is the exchange of positive experiences among the countries in the region. It is with much regret that we have to talk of our experience of violence and murder along the lines of ISIL and associated groups which have terrorized the world. The same goes with countries such as Jordan which executed in haste 2 persons in retaliation to the burning alive of the pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh by the ISIL. The same goes with the hasty execution of an individual in Pakistan in retaliation to the massacre of school children in Peshawar. There is a well known saying in Farsi which says: “If God wishes, the foe will bring goodness.” If ISIL and the associated groups see their acts according to the Islamic teachings, maybe it is time that the member states of the Islamic Conference which less than 20% have joined the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty all join the Protocol and demonstrate to the world the kind face of Islam.