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Death Sentences Announced In Iran

Death Sentences Announced In Iran
Death Sentences Announced In Iran

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The United States remains concerned about Iran's continued failure to adhere to its international obligations to secure the basic freedoms and human rights of its people – freedoms guaranteed in its own constitution, as well as in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party.

The most recent example is an Iranian court's decision to sentence to death 5 Iranians who were listed in the public indictments issued in the wake of the post-election unrest. Over 100 Iranians listed in the public indictments are currently standing trial before a Tehran Revolutionary Court after being accused of fomenting unrest after Iran's June 12 presidential election.

Human rights organizations have called these post-election proceedings in Iran "show trials" due to the absence of defense attorneys and allegations of coerced confessions. Amnesty International has expressed concern that the Revolutionary Court's decision to hand down death sentences will pave the way for more death sentence verdicts against those being tried on similar offenses. Iranian Nobel Laureate, Shirin Ebadi, has also accused authorities of issuing the death sentences in order to intimidate others who are in prison.

At a press briefing in London, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern over the Iranian government's treatment of its own citizens:

"With Iran, it is tragic that a country with such a great history, with so much to give to the rest of the world, is so afraid of [its] own people. And the way that they are utilizing secret prisons and detentions, show trails, is a reflection of the discontent that they know the people feel toward the current leadership."

Secretary of State Clinton said the U.S. has made it clear that "decisions about the future of Iran are up to the Iranian people. But," she said, "we will continue to speak out on behalf of human rights, on behalf of democracy, on behalf of freedom of expression, that are really at the core of human freedom. And it's important that the people in Iran know that the United States, the United Kingdom, and others in the international community are watching very closely as to what is happening, and standing on their side when it comes to their willingness to take great risks on behalf of the kind of future that they would like to see for their country."