Wednesday , 24 July 2019

Iran Executions and the Cycle of Violence: Victim’s Brother Murdered in Retaliation for the Execution of the Murderer

Iran Human Rights – After the execution of one of his relatives, a 38-year-old man stabbed the victim’s brother to death in retaliation. Many social science experts believe that Qisas leads to an increase in violence in a society.

According to a report by Rokna news agency, Sarallah Hospital reported the murder of a 45-year-old man who was stabbed with a knife and a stick in April. The man, named Qasem, was attacked in front of his house and transferred to the hospital by his family.

The victim’s wife said to the police, “My husband left home to go to work early in the morning. A short while after he left, someone rang the doorbell.”

She continued, “I went out and saw my husband wounded severely. My son and neighbours came to help after they heard my screams. Then we took my husband to the hospital but he passed away. We had no idea who had done that. I suspect the family of the person who murdered my brother-in-law in a street fight ten years ago. The convict’s family tried so hard to gain the consent of the plaintiffs but then he was executed in November last year anyway. Later, the convict’s brother and his friends beat and injured my other brother-in-law. We filed a complaint against them and an arrest warrant was issued for the convict’s brother.”

She added, “They kept harassing us. Even their sister threatened me to death.”

Finally, a 38-year-old man who worked at a bakery told the police, “The convict was one of my relatives. I went to the plaintiffs along with his family several times in order to gain their consent but we failed and he was executed last year.”

He added, “We held a grudge against the victim’s family. When I saw how horrible the convict’s family felt, I decided to take action and punish the victim’s family myself.”

He continued, “I made a plan with my friend and took a stick and knife from his house. We waited outside the man’s house until he came out in his car. We attacked and injured him and then we escaped. The next day I heard that he was dead. We didn’t mean to kill him.”

Apart from discussions about whether the death penalty is right or wrong, it should be considered that according to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, murder is punished by Qisas; that is, the family of the victim decides whether the defendant lives or dies which is nothing more than revenge. One of the reasons civil activists and human rights organizations are against Qisas is that it increases violence in a society. According to the law of Iran, the government devolves the responsibility of execution to the victims’ families.