Accessibility links

Blogging Against The Death Penalty


Iranian troops stand guard as locals gather to watch a public execution in the capital, Tehran.

Iranian troops stand guard as locals gather to watch a public execution in the capital, Tehran.

Iranian bloggers are protesting against the death penalty and executions in the Islamic republic in what they describe as a "blogging game" launched on the occasion of World Day Against The Death Penalty on October 10.

Bloggers have written posts condemning the high number of Iranian executions, sharing memories of when they first became acquainted with execution and how it affected them, and reasons they think executing people is wrong.

Blogger "Goresh" (Roar), who initiated the "game," writes that he was seven years old when he heard the word "execution" for the first time. He says he was watching television with his family on a cold winter evening in Arak when he heard a voice coming from a loudspeaker outside inviting people to attend a public execution the next day:

My parents, like many other neighbors, put on some warm clothes and went out to find out more. I followed them. The crowd had gathered around the car that was inviting people to the execution. People were asking the two young men in the car why and who was going to be executed. One of the two, who was holding the loudspeaker, turned it off and said the criminals are a brother and sister who had [intercourse].

Several years later, I found out that the brother and sister had been seen next to each other by their mother. It's not clear to what extent they had gotten physical. The issue was brought to the attention of their father, who in order to prevent the incident from reoccurring took them to the local cleric in hopes that he would guide them and show them the right way. [The cleric] was kind enough to deliver them to the court...

Another blogger, "Kamangir," writes that much has been said about why capital punishment is "bad," while executions are still going on in Iran and there are people, including bloggers, who support execution. He believes that whatever has been said has been insufficient to convince "the other side" and says that those who support capital punishment and those who don't should take a step toward [bridging the gap] by changing their arguments:

If someone says "execution is bad because it does not lead to the decrease of crimes," we should ask them to say instead that "if someone can demonstrate that execution can sometimes lead to a decrease in crime, I will then agree that executing people is sometimes good."

Amnesty International, which staunchly opposes capital punishment, has described Iran as one of the world's worst offenders in terms of imposing the death penalty.

Iran is also one of few countries to execute offenders for crimes they committed when they were younger than 18 years old.

This video, about the plight of child offenders in Iran, was co-produced by Mohammad Mostafaei, a leading Iranian lawyer against child execution who fled the country recently after he came under pressure by authorities.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

Subscribe

XS
SM
MD
LG