EU. PRESIDENCY REBUKES IRAN OVER RECENT EXECUTIONS
July 18, 2008: the French Presidency of the European Union said it was "deeply concerned" to learn that ten Iranians were publicly executed between 7 and 14 July and urged Iran to immediately halt the practice.
"The European Union reaffirms its opposition to capital punishment under any circumstances," said the French EU Presidency in a statement. "The Iranian authorities have doubled the number of executions from 2006 to 2007, without achieving anything but a worsening crime rate."
The statement also deplored a parliamentary bill that would extend the list of offences carrying the death penalty in Iran.
It especially condemned the bill's inclusion of websites that disturb the "psychological security of society" in this list of crimes.
"The bill makes a disproportionate link between the acts committed and the penalty imposed and sets out to brutally restrict the exercise of freedom of expression," the statement added.
It called on the Iranian Parliament to withdraw the bill and back a thorough overhaul of judicial practice leading to more humane sentences.
It said Iran should abolish the death penalty, in accordance with a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 2007. (Sources: AKI, 18/07/2008)