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Fears for five men facing execution in Iran, including one tomorrow

More than 380 executed in Iran so far this year

Amnesty International has said that it fears for the lives of five men on death row in Iran after they were transferred from Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj near Tehran, to the capital’s Evin Prison, sparking fears about their imminent execution.

At least one of the men - Hamid Gholamy - is due to be executed tomorrow morning (7 November), after conviction for a drugs-related offence in June 2011, which may be the same alleged offence for which he was acquitted three months earlier due to a lack of evidence.

Gholamy was reportedly tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in detention and was awaiting a decision on his clemency request when he was suddenly transferred to Evin Prison.

Under Iranian law, those convicted of drugs offences are not permitted an opportunity to exercise their right to appeal, as required by international law. In Iran, many alleged drugs offenders are executed after unfair trials in which they have been denied the possibility of a review by a higher tribunal. Last month, ten men were executed in Evin Prison shortly after they too were transferred from Ghezel Hesar Prison.

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Ann Harrison said:

“These men’s lives must be spared by the Iranian authorities, who regrettably seem bent on continuing their state killing spree.

“Of the more than 380 people we believe were put to death in Iranian prisons so far this year, the vast majority were convicted of drugs-related offences - which fall far short of the ‘most serious crimes’ threshold set by international human rights law.

“Amnesty International opposes the use of the death penalty in all cases. While Iran’s security forces have a right to prosecute individuals for drugs offences, they must remove capital punishment for such crimes.”

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