Iran executes peaceful human rights advocate Ya'qub Mehrnahad
August 21, 2008
The government cannot punish Iranians’ peaceful attempts to associate and to promote their ideas and yet claim political and moral legitimacy. The Islamic Republic’s leaders’ claim to religious legitimacy is undermined when they systematically silence Muslim clerics who oppose their interpretation of Islam, intimidate or eliminate leaders and members of religious minorities, and threaten Muslims converts to other faiths with capital punishment.
In recent years, Iran has witnessed the birth of a peaceful democratic civil rights movement spearheaded by women, students, and ethnic and religious minorities. Civil rights activists, free from politics, refer only to universal human rights principles; this is a new and unprecedented phenomenon in this country and a necessary development for future peace and stability in the region. The emerging pattern of death sentences against peaceful advocates indicates the government's resolve to annihilate Iran’s newly born civil rights movement.
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation calls upon the Iranian government to stop the execution of civil rights activists and urges the international community to use all available leverage to obtain the revocation of all death and prison sentences prescribed against peaceful Iranian civil rights advocates.
**- “The judiciary power of the Islamic Republic has also worked out a bill of citizens rights. One of the main principles incorporated in this bill ensures the enjoyment of every person of equal rights so that his individual rights and freedoms are guaranteed, irrespective of his ethnic origin and other factors such as race, color, sex, etc…” Letter of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Anti-Discrimination Unit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 14 March, 2008.
**** Followers of Zoroastrian religion. Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions. It was founded by the prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago. For 1000 years Zoroastrianism was the official religion of Persia (Iran) from 600 BCE to 650 CE. It is now one of the world's smallest religions with around a quarter of a million followers worldwide. The Iranian revolution of 1979 and the eventual establishment of the Islamic Republic posed many initial setbacks for religious minorities. Today, the Zoroastrian community in Iran is estimated by some to number some 22,000 - half the size of that in existence before the 1979 Islamic revolution.