[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] urged Iran [press release] on Saturday not to execute a political dissident convicted of “enmity against God.” Gholamreza Khosravi Savajani was sentenced to death in 2010 on the charge of “enmity against God” for his alleged links with a banned opposition group, the People’s Mojahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI) [official website]. Family members of Gholamreza Khosravi fear that he may be executed as soon as Sunday, June 1, after they were informed by prison officials on Saturday that they must go to the prison in order to meet him outside of regular visitation hours. Khosravi is currently being held in solitary confinement, which according to AI, is in conformity with Iran’s practice of placing prisoners in solitary units before their executions take place. “Yet again Iranian authorities are about to execute a man who did not even receive a fair trial in total disregard of both international and Iranian Law,” AI’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Hassiba Hadj Saharoui said. Under the new Islamic Penal Code, the charge of “enmity against God” imposes the death penalty only for those who have actively taken up arms.
Iran’s human rights record has been a constant source of international concern. In April the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran [official website] urged Iran to immediately halt the execution [JURIST report] of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was sentenced to death for murdering a man who allegedly sexually assaulted her. Earlier in April experts from the UN Officer of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] voiced concern [JURIST report] that political prisoners in Iran were not receiving proper medical treatment. In February Shaheed expressed concern [JURIST report] over the recent spike in executions in Iran. In January AI released a report [JURIST report] finding that the Iranian government had executed 40 individuals since the beginning of 2014 and carried out 625 executions in 2013. Earlier that month, several international human rights groups urged [JURIST report] the Iranian government to end its state-sanctioned persecution of LGBT individuals.