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Home > English > Iran government turns blind eye to justice By MONTE SOLBERG, QMI (...)

Iran government turns blind eye to justice By MONTE SOLBERG, QMI Agency

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Iran is never out of the news for long, and it always slinks back into the news for the wrong reasons. Today Iran is making headlines for thwarting UN nuclear inspectors while aggressively upgrading uranium, potentially to make nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons are troubling enough in the hands of democratic nations. Imagine them in the hands of a truly odious regime that seems to be without conscience in the treatment of its own people, let alone those from the outside. Recall that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

The latest victim of the Iranian government is Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who has variously been sentenced to be lashed, stoned and hanged. Her alleged crime was adultery.

After the Iranian secret police interrogated her for two days she also publicly confessed to being an accomplice to her husband’s murder. Today she awaits her gruesome fate in an Iranian prison.

According to human rights groups, seven people have been stoned to death in Iran in the last four years and another 14 are sitting in jails waiting to be bound, buried to the waist and stoned.

But the Iranian government’s crimes don’t end there. In July five men convicted of theft had their hands cut off.

Human rights groups say there are in excess of 130 young people, convicted when they were teenagers, who now await a sentence of hanging. Some were convicted of drug smuggling. Many were involved in teenage fights that lead to a death.

It would be impossible to conclude that any had anything like what we would call a fair trial.

An Aug. 25 report drew attention to Vakilabad prison near Mashhad where it is alleged that hundreds of prisoners have been executed over the last year with no prior notice to either the prisoners or their families. Most were convicted of drug crimes.

Turning a blind eye

Meanwhile the Iranian government has turned a blind eye to the most horrific honour killings.

In one case a 17-year-old girl was kidnapped and allegedly sexually abused by her brother-in-law. The girl’s father felt that this dishonoured his family so he smothered her.

In another case a man who suspected his daughter was using drugs responded by burying her alive. She was later rescued when passersby heard her screams from under the ground.

According to the website Iran Human Rights, Article 220 of the Iranian Criminal Code states, “If a father — or his male ancestors — kills his child, he will not be condemned for a murder.”

Yet none of this is so bad that it barred Iran from successfully making its way onto the UN Commission on the Status of Women with its mandate to uphold the equality of the sexes. Iran’s four-year term begins in 2011. The official UN media release only mentioned Iran’s elevation to the commission several pages into the document, but I digress.

This is a small sampling of the vile record of the government of Iran. As they continue to plays games with UN inspectors we should remember what the Iranian regime is capable of.

MONTE Solberg is a consultant at Fleishman Hillard Canada and former Conservative MP

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