Iranian journalist to be stoned to death:
Another sign of unreformable nature of mullahs' regime

The clerical regime's supreme court has upheld a lower court's verdict of "stoning to death" against Morteza Firuzi, the editor of Iran News, an English-language Tehran daily, according to state-controlled newspapers.

Continuing public executions and barbaric punishments such as stoning show that any notion of reform in the ruling theocracy in Iran is no more than a mirage. The statement of the Group of Eight ministerial meeting in London spoke about the Iranian government's commitment to expand the civil society based on the rule of law, including greater freedom of expression. The mullah's inhuman practices clearly show how distant such claims are from the realities of Iran today. Such contentions are made only in the context of appeasing the ruling mullahs.

Cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments such as stoning form a major instrument of repression in the hands of the clerical rulers to intinidate and terrorize the public, especially at a time when the country is witnessing rapidly growing popular resistance movement and social upheaval.

Speaking at a press conference on April 7, Ataollah Mohajerani, Khatami's Minister of Islamic Guidance and government spokesman, unequivocally approved of stoning as a punishment and said it would be better to carry it out in front of more limited crowds in order to prevent "adverse reactions and negative publicity abroad."

Diplomatic "business as usual" with this regime, including the Italian Prime Minister's planned trip to Iran, and visits by Italy's Foreign Minister and German Foreign Ministry officials and the trip to Europe by the mullahs' Minister of Guidance, clearly violate the most elementary principles of universally-recognized human rights.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran calls for an end to diplomatic and trade ties with the religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran, which has been condemned for human rights abuses and terrorism in 42 UN resolutions. The last of these was a UN Human Rights Commission resolution adopted in April which condemned the rising number of executions and the continuing application of cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments such as stoning.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 11, 1998

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