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Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Iran and the United Nations regarding executions in Iran, particularly of members of the Kurdish community. [HL448]

The UK's position on the death penalty is clear: we oppose it in all its forms. Alongside our EU partners we have recalled our long-standing opposition to capital punishment on at least 25 occasions this year.

Most recently, on 20 November 2009, the EU presidency summoned the Iranian ambassador in Stockholm to condemn a spate of executions, including that of Kurdish activist Ehsan Fattahian, and to express concern that a high number of Kurds with pending death sentences were facing imminent execution. The EU expressed regret at the execution of Fattahian, and pleaded for clemency for the others. Also on 20 November, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Iran for the seventh consecutive year. This resolution, co-sponsored by the EU, condemns the increasing number of executions in Iran and sends a clear message of ongoing international concern at the human rights situation in Iran.

Alongside our EU and UN partners, the UK will continue to call on the Iranian authorities to abolish the death penalty and, in the mean time, to establish a moratorium on executions as urged by United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/149 and 63/168.