The Washington Times reported yesterday that despite the hope for moderation with the election of Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran, executions in the Islamic Republic have surged since his inauguration.
During the 14 months since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office, Iranian authorities have carried out at least 936 executions, according to data compiled by the Connecticut-based Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.
The statistics are consistent with data collected separately by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a dissident organization with offices in Europe and Washington that is preparing to publish a book-length report on the executions titled “Behind Rouhani’s Smile.”
The spike in executions prompted State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki to express the administration’s concern “about the large number of Iranians executed following trials involving serious violations of due process,” this past June.
One of Rouhani’s first appointments was of Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as justice minister. The appointment of Pour-Mohammadi, known as the “Minister of Murder” for his role in thousands of summary executions in the late 1980’s, prompted widespread criticism by human rights groups. The surge in executions under Rouhani has prompted criticism from the European Union, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Other rights violations have similarly continued throughout Rouhani’s tenure, prompting Canadian human rights expert Irwin Cotler to write that Rouhani “has presided over a regime that continues to engage in massive repression.”
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