Rashid Kouhi executed despite international outcry


executionLondon, MEFD – 36 year-old Rashid Kouhi was hanged in prison in the morning of 9th April 2016, in Rasht, the capital city of Iran’s Gilan province, despite international outcry to halt his execution. Rashid Kouhi was arrested in August 2011 at a checkpoint in Roudbar, Gilan, after Iranian authorities stopped him and searched his bag where they reportedly found 800 grams of crystal meth. Rashid Kouhi, a student at the time, was subsequently tried in February 2012 by a Revolutionary Court in Roudbar and sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial. According to Amnesty International, the court’s verdict is less than a page long and does not contain adequate reasoning. Furthermore, Rashid Kouhi did not have access to a lawyer during his interrogation sessions and he was denied the right to appeal his death sentence even though a new Code of Criminal Procedure, entered into force in Iran in June 2015, allows individuals sentenced to death for drug-related offences to request a retrial. Amnesty International elaborates that “Rashid Kouhi has not received adequate legal assistance in order to submit an Application for Retrial (E’ade dadresi) to Iran’s Supreme Court on this basis”. “The execution of Rashid Kouhi clearly exemplifies how the Iranian authorities fail to uphold their own appeal guidelines and through Kouhi’s execution, the authorities have once again reaffirmed that justice and fair trials are a mirage in the Islamic Republic of Iran” said Mosa Zahed, executive director at Middle East Forum for Development. Middle East Forum for Development condemns in the strongest terms the execution of Rashid Kouhi and calls for an immediate suspension of the death penalty, with a view to abolishing this brutal and inhuman practice.

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