House of Lords written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ask the Government of Iran for clemency in the case of Miss Zaynab Jalalian, sentenced to death in Kermanshah for being "an enemy of God".

Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Minister of State (Africa and the UN), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa and UN)

We are committed to making frequent representations to the Iranian authorities about their use of the death penalty. Our long-standing opposition to capital punishment, in all its forms and under all circumstances, is clear. We use every appropriate opportunity to raise these concerns with the Iranian authorities bilaterally and through the EU, calling on Iran to end its application of the death penalty. We did so on over 70 separate occasions last year, and will continue to do so.

On 20 November, the EU presidency summoned the Iranian ambassador in Stockholm to condemn a spate of executions, and plead for clemency in the case of 13 others of Kurdish origin, including Miss Jalaliyan, facing the same fate. The presidency noted there was credible information to suggest that the sentences appeared to be politically motivated. On 20 January, my honourable friend Ivan Lewis raised the cases directly with the Iranian ambassador, expressing concern at reports that they faced imminent execution. Mr Lewis reiterated our long-held concerns about the trials not meeting international standards, and urged the Iranian Government to show clemency.

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