Iran allegedly preparing to execute 27 prisoners

Posted Jun 7, 2015 by Brian Booker
The National Council of Resistance of Iran claims the Iranian government is preparing to execute 27 prisoners. This follows on the heels of more than 60 executions carried out in recent weeks.
Gohardasht prison in Iran.
Gohardasht prison in Iran.
Ensie & Matthias
Iran places inmates in solitary confinement in the days leading up to their execution. Over the past few days some 20 prisoners in Ghezel Hessar Prison of Karaj were transferred to solitary confinement. Another seven prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement at the Adel-Abad Prison of Shiraz.
These prisoners have been condemned to death and will almost certainly be executed in the near future. Executions in Iran are generally carried out by hanging.
The NCRI also alleges that several of the prisoners were abused prior to being placed in solitary confinement. Prisoner special guards reportedly beat some of the prisoners who were attempting to resist their transfer to solitary confinement.
As the prisoners are now in solitary confinement, their well-being is currently unknown.
In years past, most executions have been a result of drug related crimes. Iran suffers from rampant drug abuse, and key drug smuggling routes run from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Iran en route to Europe.
Iranian dissidents, however, allege that at least some of the people are being executed for political reasons, such as participating in protests and distributing anti-government propaganda.
As Iran is one of the world's more reclusive countries, and the local media is heavily censored, it is difficult to confirm or refute the allegations. The Iranian government, however, does have an established history of executing dissidents.
Political prisoners have been executed for allegedly “waging war against God”, and other clearly political crimes. This past February two Kurdish activists were executed for distributing propaganda and participating in a dissident group.
The honey moon phase for President Hassan Rouhani, who has enjoyed high-levels of support within Iran and abroad due to his seemingly moderate stances, appears to be over. Rouhani promised to end nuclear sanctions and restore economic prosperity in Iran, but has failed to deliver either so far.
Nuclear negotiations continue to drag on, and recent comments by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have cast doubts on the viability of negotiations. Khamenei has claimed that Iran will deny all access to military installations and scientists, which is a key demand for Western powers.
Iran trails only China in regards to the number of people executed per year. Amnesty International claims that Iran executed at least 289 people in 2014. Given the number of people executed so far this year, Iran may end up recording even higher execution numbers for 2015.