Poet and peace campaigner hanged
NEWS has emerged from Iran that the young poet, who was arrested in February 2011 and subjected to extreme torture, has been executed.
According to this report, an Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal had imposed a death sentence on the poet – a member of the Arabic-speaking Ahvazis ethnic minority – along with 14 others, last July on charges that included “waging war on God.”
Press reports said Shaabani was hanged last month after his sentence was approved by President Hassan Rohani.
In a statement on February 5, Freedom House said Shaabani was subjected to severe torture and interrogation during his three years in prison.
Human Rights Voices also reports on the execution, writing:
To those who knew him, Hashem Shaabani was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system … In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says he could not have remained silent against ‘hideous crimes against Ahvazis perpetrated by the Iranian authorities, particularly arbitrary and unjust executions.’
I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Rouhani has presided over “an execution spree” and pointed out the The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed and the UN’s expert addressing executions Christof Heyns urged Iran last month to stop the surge in hangings since the start of 2014.
The UN experts said at least 40 persons have been reportedly hanged in the first two weeks of January.
In 2013, Iran executed 625 people, including 29 women and political prisoners. Iranians faced the death penalty for the crimes of Moharabeh – a catchall phrase for “enmity against God” – or the charge of threatening “national security.”
It is deeply concerning that the Government proceeds with executions for crimes that do not meet the threshold of the ‘most serious crimes’ as required by international law and when serious concerns remain about due process rights.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps dragged Shaabani into an Iran’s Press TV studio in December 2011 where confessed to involvement in “separatist terrorism,” and contacts with former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s former president Muammar Gaddafi.
Shaabani wrote later wrote in a letter that he:
Had never participated in any armed activity, whatever the motives. I disagree with armed activities if there are other peaceful channels to make demands and express our wishes and aspirations.
US writer Stephen Hager declared President Rouhani as “the villain in this tragedy”.
He’s the 7th President of Iran and has quietly executed over 400 dissidents, while projecting himself as a moderate in favor of women’s rights. Time magazine fawns on him, calling him the 9th most powerful person in the world. One wonders why his reign of terror gets virtually no play in the Western media. But then, Western media is really a carefully controlled cartel run by a handful of global corporations.
Hashem Shaabani is the poet and hero of this tragedy. He held a Masters in Political Science and taught Arabic literature in high school. He also wrote poetry in both Arabic and Farsi.
He leaves behind a widow and child and invalid parents he had been caring for until his arrest in February of 2011 in Khalafabad.