SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1981

AMNESTY: 1,600 EXECUTED

London, June 26 More than 1600 people have been executed in Iran since the February 1979 Islamic revolution and at least 32 have died in the latest wave of executions over the ouster of President Abol-hassan Bani-Sadr, Amnesty International said yesterday. The Nobel peace prize winning organization said it has asked its members round the world to appeal to Iranian authorities to halt the current wave of executions. Amnesty, and independent organization which has made political prisoners round the world its special concern and is opposed to capital punishment, said at least 32 people were executed in Iran in the 10 days up to Wednesday.

It said the latest executions were mainly for political reasons over the clash between followers of ousted President Bani- Sadr and Islamic fundamentalists of the dominant Islamic Republic Party. Amnesty said most of the executions are believed to have been carried out swiftly after hearings before Islamic revolutionary courts. It said in a report published in May last year that people condemned by these courts were consistently denied fair trails. Iran’s largest religious minority, the Baha’is, are facing mounting danger, including execution, in the wake of the ouster of President Bani-Sadr, a top Baha’i leader warned in Bangkok last night. Marco Kappenberger, the faiths delegated to the United Nations in Geneva, appealed for urgent action to prevent what he called a new round of persecution amid “the latest upsurge in Iran’s confusion, anarchy and fanaticism”.

Mr. Kappenberger, in Bangkok on a private visit, told a hastily-called news conference that Iran’s top Islamic courts had approved the execution of seven leading Baha’is, including two doctors, on June 14 in Hamadan, Mr. Bani- Sadr’s birthplace. He expressed fear that the decline and fall of Mr. Bani-Sadr would clear the way for fanatic elements to push ahead with alleged plans of wipe out the faith in Iran. According to information made available at the news conference, there are about 450,000 Baha’is in Iran, How unlike the Christians were numbered 200,000 Jews (60,000) and Zoroaster’s (20,000) they are officially recognized by the Islamic regime.

-AP and AFP