Mohammad Salas Executed by Regime Despite Worldwide Pleas from Human Rights Groups
On Monday, June 18th, Mohammad Salas was executed by the Iranian regime for alleged crimes against the state. Amnesty International previously issued a call to the international community to stop the execution, saying, “This case has laid bare the flaws in Iran’s criminal justice system for all to see. We call on the international community to do everything in their power to stop the execution of Mohammad Salas.”
Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament also campaigned to stop Mr. Salas’s execution. Mr. Gérard Deprez, a Member of European Parliament and the Chair of Friends of a Free Iran in European Parliament, made this statement today:
“It is with great regret and outrage that we heard this morning, Monday 18 June 2018, Islamic Republic of Iran executed an innocent man from the country’s Sufi religious minority.”
Despite a global campaign to save the life of Mohammad Salas (#SaveSalas), reports indicate this 51-year old member of #Iran's Sufi religious minority group has been executed early this morning. pic.twitter.com/Vzjf9AVXTG
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) June 18, 2018
Antonio Tajani, President of European Parliament, issued a condemnation of the execution in a Twitter post on Monday.
“I strongly condemn the execution of Mohammad Salas in Iran. The European Parliament consistently opposes the death penalty in all cases and under any circumstances,” he tweeted.
The Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is the largest member, strongly condemned the execution on mojahedin.org, writing, in part:
“The Iranian Resistance strongly condemns the execution of Mohammad Yavar Salas and calls for the effective action by the international community and human rights advocates against this arbitrary execution and the growing violation of human rights by the religious fascism ruling Iran.”
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, wrote an article on her website calling for an end to the death penalty in Iran, citing the regime’s brutal history of using the death penalty against political prisoners, including MEK members, and writing of “women who sell their kidneys to pay for their husbands’ blood money and save them from being executed.”
Mrs. Rajavi wrote about the regime’s use of torture and its application of the death penalty on juveniles, stating that the regime uses the death penalty to suppress dissent and maintain its control over the people. The Iranian regime is responsible for 50% of the world’s executions, and Mrs. Rajavi believes the time has come for the end of the barbaric practice.
Mrs. Rajavi wrote, in part: “Our plan for Iran’s future is that no one should be denied his/her freedoms, rights or life because of having or not having faith in a particular religion or for abandoning it.
“Our plan is for all citizens to enjoy genuine security and equal rights before the law.
Yes, we are seeking a new order based on freedom, democracy, and equality.”
The MEK condemns the execution of Mohammad Salas in the strongest possible terms and calls upon the international community to take action against the Iranian regime for this violation of human rights against a religious minority and its routine suppression of the rights of its people.
Mohammed Salas, a 51 year-old Gonabadi Dervish (Sufi), was arrested during the February 2018 Sufi community protests in Iran and accused of driving a bus into security forces. On May 22, 2018, his attorney, Zeynab Taheri, released a recording of Salas in which he proclaimed his innocence:
“I am innocent. There were two buses. I was not the driver of the bus that killed those people. I am not a killer. I cannot even kill an ant. My bus was not damaged and did not have any bullet marks. The police have fabricated all of this. I was not behind the wheel of the bus that killed those people. That was another bus,” said the voice of the man identified as Salas by his lawyer.
The 51 year-old father was tortured, had his teeth, nose and ribs broken; needed 17 stitches on his head, lost his vision and consciousness, and was forced to sign a false “confession” which was later used to sentence him to death.
Despite credible evidence of his innocence, Mr. Salas’s appeal was denied, and he was refused a new trial.
The execution of Mohammad Salas is only the latest in a series of gross human rights violations by the Iranian regime. The MEK believes that the only way to end the violence and corruption of the Iranian theocracy is with regime change.