One person hanged every eight under President Rouhani

According to a report by Human Rights and Democracy activists in Iran, the Iranian regime has committed a new crime by carrying out a mass execution of 15 prisoners in the central prison of Zahedan on Saturday October 12, 2013. According to the same report, on Thursday October 10, these prisoners had been transferred to solitary confinement from different wards of the prison as well as from the regime's intelligence office and at the same time all communication with the prison had been cut. It is reported also that the three prisoners who had been transferred from the intelligence office and hanged right away have been most probably political prisoners. Since Rouhani's government of "Hope and Wisdom" took office in Iran on 3 August, 180 prisoners have been hanged secretly inside prisons or in public. With regime’s killing machine operating non-stop, Iran, compared to its population, ranks first among countries that still enforce death penalty.

Besides repression, torture and stifling protests and any voices for freedom, the Islamic Republic during the past 34 years has been using death penalty as an organized and conscious violence to destroy its political opponents, social dissidents and the victims of its own oppressive capitalist system. Death penalty has been one of the corner stones of the Islamic regime in order to intimidate people since its rise to power. The top officials of the Islamic Republic in order to justify executions and deviate public opinion form the real roots of all the social problems facing society, say that death penalty is their decisive reaction to crimes in the society and is used to stop these crimes and reduce social problems. They claim that if there was not death penalty, criminals would be encouraged and public safety endangered. This statement comes at a time when, according to the Justice Minister in Rouhani's government, "the number of crimes in Iran has reached a record high and exceeds the number of population in the country". Experience of the countries where death penalty has been abolished as well as researches by social experts do not support this claim that death penalty would prevent the spread of crimes. On the contrary, the same researches indicate that when the gap between the rich and poor becomes wider and the economic system impoverishes the majority of people while letting a small percent of the society accumulate huge fortunes, poverty and other social privations become a source for all kinds of big and small crimes. In fact, it is the capitalist system itself that produces and reproduces the crimes. We can see this from the type and the scale of crimes in different societies with different degrees of socioeconomic development. Historical experiences show that in developed capitalist societies where struggles of the working class and freedom-loving people have imposed a range of social reforms and welfare programs on the governments, the number of crimes has had a huge decline also. Also experiences so far support this fact that enforcing death penalty by governments makes the society more vulnerable and creates more psychologically proper conditions and mentally ready environments for reproduction and spread of violence and crimes.

Hundreds of social criminals at the moment are kept in the death rooms of the Islamic Republic awaiting execution. Though the Islamic regime justifies the execution of these prisoners with other things such as promotion of social security and justice, but in fact it is pursuing another goal by the current wave of executions and killings. While the regime has made the Iranian working masses to carry the heavy burden of the deep capitalist crisis and the pressures of the economic sanctions besides violating their political and social rights, and while the regime is worried about the consequences of its policy of "heroic leniency" and retreat in front of US and the mental impact of this policy on the society, it has started a new wave of killings of prisoners in order to intimidate people and prevent any possible uprisings akin to those in Tunisia in Egypt. The rulers in Iran know very well that the unprecedented poverty and miseries that they have imposed on the Iranian people, the widespread unemployment and daily layoffs, the wages that are many times lower than poverty line and yet the delayed payments of these scanty wages will lead to nothing but the revolt of the hungry and the poor of the society.

Increasing pressures and stepping up repressive measures against the society is by no means a sign of regime's strength; rather it originates from the regime’s frustration, concern and fear of the increasing popular dissatisfaction and mass protests. Regime's latest desperate actions of killing prisoners will lead to nowhere good for it and these actions will not intimidate the protesting workers and people of Iran who are fed up with regime’s repressions and exploitations. Even if repression could cause people to retreat one step at some point, but it will also intensify people’s anger and finally mass struggles will "rise from the ashes" to bring down the Islamic republic's castle of tyranny and injustice and provide the groundwork for building a free and just society based on the organized and united forces of the exploited working and toiling masses.