A Blueprint for Ending Human Rights Abuses in Iran
Harvard International Review / Sam Sasan Shoamanesh & Trita Parsi

Last month two more Iranians fell victim to the highly politicized and obfuscated machinery of the Iranian judicial system. On the basis of reportedly coerced confessions, 20-year-old Arash Rahmanipour and 37-year-old Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani were hastily executed on charges of terrorism, attempting to topple the Iranian government, and by extension, acting as “enemies of God”: an offence punishable by death under the Shari’a-based Iranian legal system. These charges and the widely “suspect” executions that followed them—the first officially linked to the post-election protests—have elicited worldwide outrage. Unless halted, a similar fate—execution—awaits at least nine other Iranians detained in connection with the unrest following the June 2009 Presidential election. Conscripted charges of espionage recently brought against seven leaders of the Bahб'н community are other worrying signs of a rise in politically-motivated prosecutions with perilous consequences for those targeted. It is certainly plausible that Iranian hard-liners have attempted to use these widely publicized executions and questionable charges as a means to instil fear in the general population and discourage future protests.

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