MPs Warn of ‘Wave of Executions’ in Iran

October 8, 2014 Updated: October 8, 2014

OTTAWA—Rayhaneh Jabbari was supposed to be executed on Wednesday. Sources in Iran say her death has been delayed for 40 days. 

Conservative MP John Weston wants you to know that Jabbari was just trying to defend herself. That’s why she stabbed Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi after he drugged her and brought her to an abandoned building. He stopped to buy a condom along the way, perhaps to avoid fathering a child with his rape victim. 

Weston stood with men who are normally his political opponents on Tuesday Oct. 7 to plead Jabbari’s case, calling for her execution to be cancelled. With him were Liberal MP Irwin Cotler and NDP MP Wayne Marston.

Warning of an “unprecedented wave of executions in Iran,” they were raising the plight of Iranians deemed dissident or disloyal to Iran’s totalitarian regime.

Political repression was supposed to lighten under Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, but Cotler says that hasn’t come to pass.

“Executions not only continue unabated in Iran … but have actually intensified.”

Iran is now the highest executioner per capita, in the world, said Cotler.

Cotler was calling for the release of Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, the prominent dissident clergyman jailed in Evin Prison for eight years.

Boroujerdi’s crime was believing in the separation of religion and government.

Iran’s Prosecutor of the Special Clerical Court, Mohammad Mohavadi, recently said these “anti-government views,” and any repeating of those views, should be punished by execution.

“The imminence of that execution is what has brought us here today,” Cotler said.

“The torture and threatened execution of the person who has been called ‘Iran’s Mandela’ is a dramatic and shocking example of the execution binge that has prevailed under Rouhani’s ‘moderate’ presidency and the attendant culture of impunity.”

Marston stood for Omid Kokabee, 32, jailed four years ago for “communicating with a hostile government” and “receiving illegitimate funds.” 

Kokabee was imprisoned because his studies in the United States gave him knowledge essential to Iran’s nuclear program and he refused to cooperate. 

If he did, he’d be free, a fact that earned him the American Physical Society’s 2014 Andrei Sakharov Prize “for his courage in refusing to use his physics knowledge to work on projects that he deemed harmful to humanity, in the face of extreme physical and psychological pressure,” said the group.

Kokabee is unwell and being denied medical care. He is facing a “passive” execution, Marston said.