Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani was executed January 27th by order of President Hassan Rouhani for “waging war on God,” “spreading corruption on earth,” and “questioning the principle of walayat al-faqih” (the Rule of the Jurisprudent.)
An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July.
Press reports claim Shaabani was hanged in an unidentified prison after President Rouhani’s approval.
A statement by Freedom House on February 5th condemning the execution said Shaabani was severely tortured and interrogated over the three years he remained in prison. It stated that Shaabani’s death illustrates Iran’s continuous violent repression of ethnic minorities.
Responding to the execution, Human Rights Voices writes:
To those who knew him, Hashem Shaabani was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system? In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says he could not have remained silent against ?hideous crimes against Ahvazis perpetrated by the Iranian authorities, particularly arbitrary and unjust executions.? He adds ‘I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.?
Shaabani was founder of the Dialogue Institute, which worked to promote an understanding of Arabic culture and literature in Iran. He was 32.
Hommage ? Hashem Shaabani
by Gregory Huck
Edited/Published by: SB