Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yaghoob Mehrnehad a blogger journalist executed in Iran

Yaghoob Mehrnehad (Mirnehad) a blogger and reporter for Mardomsalari newspaper executed for allegedly being terrorist, threatening national security and being enemy of God (Mohareb) in 05 July, 2008 in Sistan-Baluchistan province, south-east of Iran.

Iranian Judiciary accused Mehrnehad to have association with Jundallah, an armed Sunni Muslim group operating on the Iran-Pakistan border. There has not been any evidence to suggest that he was connected to Jundallah group.

Yaghoob Mehrnehad, an ethnic Baluchi, was the executive director of Voice of Justice Youth Association, a local NGO. He was critical of officials in his blog and the corruption in the system. He called for resignation or removal of local officials from office.

He was arrested in May 2007 and sentenced to death in February, 2008. They sentenced him to death in an unfair trial and executed him as fast as possible. Iranian human rights activists are still in shock because they were campaigning for his freedom.

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran organization has investigated his case through out; they say:

A few weeks later, during an annual conference held in Zahedan, “Inquiring Youth; Accountable Officials,” Mehrnehad and a number of other members of Voice of Justice Youth Association confronted local officials, demanding accountability for their poor performance. Subsequently, intelligence agents detained Mehrnehad and five of his colleagues. The authorities released all detainees, except for Mehrnehad, after a few days.

Mehrnehad was held in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center in Zahedan for five months before he was transferred to Zahedan’s central prison.

On 25 December, 2007, Zahedan’s Revolutionary Court held a trial for Mehrnehad behind closed doors. Only Mehrnehad and his lawyers were present. His family was not allowed into the court room. The officials also failed to inform his family of charges brought against Mehrnehad. Judiciary officials notified his family that he is sentenced to death penalty on 7 February, 2008.

The authorities did not provide any information regarding the basis for Mehrnehad’s sentence until 19 February when the Judiciary’s spokesman confirmed his death penalty and stated the charges against him as “connections with Jundallah.”

On 24 February, 2008, security forces detained Mehrnehad’s younger brother, Ebrahim Mehrnehad at his home. Ebrahim Mehrnehad had publicized the death sentence against his brother.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran strongly condemns the widespread, non-transparent, and increasing number of executions in Iran. The Campaign calls on the United Nations Special Rapporteurs to urgently request a visit to Iran to investigate and document the judicial processes leading to such high numbers of executions.

Bloggers in Iran strongly condemn his execution and they are campaigning against this savage and unfair form of justice. This Judiciary is a sham which doesn't care to innocent and human rights. It is part of a fear doctrine in Islamic Republic of Iran.

Along with Mehrnehad, Abdolnasser Taheri was executed too for the same crimes. Unfortunately we don't have any information about him yet.

With these two executions, so far it's about 195 executions carried out this year.

Campaign against execution of Yaghoob Mehrnehad