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Iran agrees not to execute 200 Afghan death row prisoners

Iran agrees not to execute 200 Afghan death row prisoners

author avatar
21 May 2023 - 16:41
Iran agrees not to execute 200 Afghan death row prisoners
author avatar
21 May 2023 - 16:41

ATLANTA (Pajhwok): Iran will not execute 200 death row Afghan prisoners following a memorandum of understanding between the two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has said.

MoFA deputy spokesman Hafiz Zia Ahmad Takal told National Radio Television of Afghanistan (RTA) on Saturday that 200 death row Afghan prisoners currently being held in Iran’s prisoners.

Based on a bilateral understanding, Iran agreed not to enforce the death penalty on the convicted Afghans, Takal added.

He said: “The government of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan managed to reach an understanding with Iranian authorities to save the convicts from death penalties”.

The deputy spokesman did not say if the prisoners were pardoned or their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

Iran agreed not to execute Afghan death row prisoners at a time the country executed three men accused of deadly violence against security  on Friday.

The country has executed at least 582 people in 2022, up from 333 the previous year.

This month Iran hanged several prisoners, including a man known as the “Sultan of Cocaine”, as the United Nations warned of a rising number of executions.

The acting Afghan government has also carried out public execution of convicts.

A group of UN-appointed independent human rights experts said on Thursday  that ‘brutal and undignified’ forms of punishment in Afghanistan and the use of capital punishment coupled with a lack of fair trial guarantees, violate international law and must stop immediately..

The Supreme Court of Afghanistan, some time ago said, various courts of the country convicted 175 persons to death and 35 more were stoned to death.

Hafiz Zia Ahmad Takal also said some progress had been made about extradition of Afghan prisoners from Iran. However the Iranian authorities are yet comment about this development.

According Takal, since August 2021, about 1,000 Afghan prisoners in Iran whose cases should be investigated in Afghanistan were transferred to the country.

Takal said: “The MoFA and some other relevant bodies of IE have signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Islamic Republic of Iran to extradite Afghan prisoners to Afghanistan and the investigation of their cases will be completed here. Since then about 1,000 of such prisoners have been extradited to Afghanistan”.

According to reports, many Afghan nationals are imprisoned in Iran due to lack of legal travel documents and others are held for drugs smuggling and other crimes. However, some reports indicate these prisoners include military personnel of the previous government who left the country for Iran.

No exact figures have been shared about the number of Afghan nationals in Iranian jails, but according to some reports they are in thousands.

Iran had signed a prisoner exchange agreement with the previous government of Afghanistan, according to which hundreds of Afghan prisoners were transferred from Iran to Afghanistan during recent years.

Bahadur Aminian, former ambassador of Iran to Kabul, in December 2020, during a meeting with the minister of justice of the previous government, said the number of Afghan prisoners in Iran’s prisons reached 20,000.

aw/ma

 

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