While there seems to be no change in the cases of Sakineh Ashtiani and Habibollah Latifi (who are still supposed remaining on death row), there are now growing concerns not only in Western media over a dramatic rise of executions so far in 2011 in Iranian prisons. Expressing alarm at the increase, United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Wednesday at least 66 people were executed in January in Iran, while Ms Pillay’s aides said they had recorded about 300 executions for the whole of last year.
Two Iranian opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have also condemned the growing number of executions in Iran, while expressing support for the popular movements that are shaking up countries in the Arab world.
On Monday, the U.S. State Department had urged the Iranian government to halt executions after Tehran hanged Zahra Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian woman, saying she was a drug smuggler. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has said the drug charges were only a pretext to execute Bahrami, and the Netherlands froze all ties with Iran on Sunday, a day after the hanging. According to Reuters news agency her family said the charge was fabricated after she was arrested for participating in anti-government protests in 2009.
According to the United Nations Office for Human Rights (Geneva), there are at least three known cases in which Iranian political activists were executed in January. The three persons, Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aqaei and another man whose name was not disclosed, were affiliated with banned political parties. Kazemi and Aqaei were arrested in September 2009 during protests. All three were convicted of mohareb or "enmity against God", and hanged last month.
In the United States there were forty-six executions in 2010 and four executions so far in January 2011 (and more than 3.000 prisoners are actually waiting on death row).
At least 66 executions in Iran's death penalty in January - UN says (BNO News, Netherlands, via New Kerala, India)
Iran: UN Human Rights chief concerned about recent spate of executions (United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva)
UN experts call for a moratorium on death penalty in the Islamic Republic of Iran (United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights)
Concerns grow over fate of Political prisoner in Iran after disappearance (National Council of Resistance in Iran, an organisation linked to the People's Mujahedin of Iran)
Iranian opposition leaders speak out against surge in executions (Payvand, San Francisco)
Message of Zahra Bahrami's execution to the world (Radio Zamaneh, Netherlands, via Payvand, San Francisco)
Zahra Bahrami Executed in Iran (Rohama.org, Union of Islamic World Students, Tehran)
Death Row Prisoner's Father: Confessions After 17 Months of torture (International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Netherlands, via Payvand, San Francisco)
Dutch gov't seeks return of hanged woman’s body (Reuters via cnews, Canada)
No change in Ashtiani case, says Iranian judiciary (Roundup) (DPA, Germany, via Monsters & Critics, UK & USA)
Judiciary still examining Sakineh Ashtiani case (Tehran Times, Iran)
Iran: 103 Hinrichtungen seit Beginn des Jahres 2011 (Weblog von Ali Schirasi, Germany)
Alle 8 Stunden wird im Iran ein Mensch hingerichtet (Weblog von Ali Schirasi)
Iran: Elf Jahre Gefängnis für Nasrin Sotoudeh (Weblog von Ali Schirasi)
Feuer unter der Asche - Wo ist die iranische Frauenbewegung? Man hört nichts mehr und sieht nichts mehr (Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany)
Women, Islam, Egypt and Iran (The Huffington Post, USA)
Iran urged to drop prison sentences against human rights activists (Amnesty International)
Die Menschenrechte im Iran als Herausforderung für die Weltgemeinschaft (IranAnders.de, Germany)
USA Executions 2011 (as of 01/25/11) (Website of Rick Halperin, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA)
Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested in September 2010 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security. In January 2011, she has been sentenced to 11 years in prison in addition to barring her from practicing law and from leaving the country for 20 years.
To help Ms Sotoudeh, write letters to the Iranian authorities. More information is here (in German, with English summary).