German minister urges Iran to abolish death penalty

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock denounced Iran for employing capital punishment to quash dissent at a conference on Tuesday dedicated to eradicating the punishment worldwide.

During the World Congress against the Death Penalty, Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister, called out Iran for using the punishment to quash dissent.
“We are experiencing this again in Iran, where a death sentence has now been pronounced against a person who has done nothing other than stand up for their liberal and civil rights,” she said.

Baerbock expressed dismay at reports that Iran had issued the sentence against a person who had joined protests prompted by the death in custody on Sept. 16 of Mahsa Amini , detained by Iran’s morality policy for wearing “inappropriate attire.”

“We have no doubt about what we think of the regime’s brutal repression against its own people,” said Baerbock, a day after the EU imposed further sanctions on Iran’s leaders.
Iran’s judiciary on Sunday said one person had been sentenced to death for “waging war against God,” which is punishable by death in Iran, for setting fire to a government building. It said he could appeal against the verdict.

The goal of the conference was to outlaw the death penalty worldwide, which is still used in 55 countries, said Baerbock, who also criticized China for executions.
She welcomed steps by Sierra Leone, Zambia and Liberia who either have or are moving toward outlawing the death penalty.

Image Credit: Reuters