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August 7, 2009

"Iran Executions Increase Since Election"

The title of this post is the headline of this report from CBS News.  Here are the details of how politics and punishment mix in Iran:

An Iranian justice official has confirmed the execution of 24 convicted drug traffickers at the end of July, believed to be one of the largest mass-executions carried out by the Islamic Republic since the revolution brought the Ayatollahs to power 30 years ago.

The message of swift, decisive "justice" delivered by Iran's leaders is clear, and comes at a time when those leaders, both political and religious, are wrestling to overcome an image of internal dispute and reassert their authority following post-election violence that left at least 30 people dead and hundreds jailed.  Tehran's deputy prosecutor, Mahmoud Salarkia, said the 24 were hanged at the notorious Karaj prison on July 30th. "Their execution was approved by the supreme court," said Salarkia, without naming the prisoners.

Iran has killed at least 219 prisoners already this year, according to a tally from the French news agency AFP, and the pace of the executions seems to have increased amid the postelection turmoil....

Iran has executed at least 44 drug convicts, 19 Baluch minorities convicted of supporting a terrorist group, and possibly two young men sentenced for murders they allegedly committed before the age of 18.

Thus far, international outrage over the supposedly coincidental uptick in executions amid the postelection turmoil has been muted, at best.  The European Union condemned the July 30 executions and said in a statement that the 27-member bloc was "concerned about the continued large-scale use of the death penalty in Iran, including the repeated incidence of collective executions during the past month."...  The United States government has made no official remarks on the sanctioned killings.

Iran came second only to China in the number of prisoners executed during 2008, with a reported total of 246.  China is believed to have killed as many as 5,000 of its convicts, but that number is unconfirmed.  In the United States, by comparison, 37 people were executed in state death chambers, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

August 7, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Question: How many people die of alcoholism and substance addiction in Iran?

How many do so in the United States, year after year, with lawyer scienter?

Some of the folks here may be appalled by 24 executions, but not by 100,000 alcohol related deaths. Half the suicides, half the murderers, and half the murder victims, and half the crash victims are legally intoxicated, as well.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 7, 2009 1:39:37 PM

Judicially-authorized killing: the perfect way to remind an unruly populace that "we are the State, and we can crush you if you f--k with us."

I don't know why more small-government libertarians don't actively oppose the death penalty (even Ron Paul only changed his view 2 years ago, and then because of "mistakes," not because of the frightening, visceral symbolism of state power that executions represent).

Posted by: Observer | Aug 7, 2009 4:05:38 PM

Observer: The United States allows the extra-judicial executions of 400,000 victims of cigarettes, 100,000 victims of alcohol, 17,000 murder victims, and a ton of AIDS patients. The lawyer prevents the adequate treatment of 30,000 people who commit suicide, 95% of which are preventable when we get rid of the lawyer pestilence. They go rough, guaranteed, year in, year out, for decades, each killing, thanks to the lawyer.

You are all upset at 24 executions by clerics. When it comes to mass exterminations in our own nation, by lawyers, who are our clerics? Nothing. Not a word of concern.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 7, 2009 8:06:36 PM

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