Human Rights, Not One More Execution

October 10, 2010: MFI Statement on World Day against the Death Penalty, outside of the US Supreme Court, Washington DC USA

Mission Free Iran Statement
on the Occasion of the 8th World Day against Execution,
Dedicated to the United States
October 10, 2010
Outside of the United States Supreme Court in Washington DC

For more than two centuries, progressive people in this country have fought legalized and state-sponsored murder – what the government calls “capital punishment.”

Unfortunately, our struggle against this barbaric act has been as unsuccessful as the attempt by the state, “our” government, to produce a logical rationale for the necessity of this savagery.

At least as far back as 1853, the public has been able to observe statistics, published in mass media such as the New York Daily Tribune, indicating a direct relationship between public hangings and an escalation in violence, murder and suicide. Subsequent studies have supported the hypothesis that murder by the state results in an increase in murder by citizens.

Nevertheless, a century and a half later, the political and economic powers-that-be in this country have succeeded in asserting an upside-down “reality.” They have sold an absurd lie – that putting a person to death can somehow be understood as a form of justice – as an infinite truth. By so doing, they have established and nurtured a culture of violence in this country. As a result, our culture does not reflect humane and social solidarity. Rather, our culture reflects the nature of the relationship between political power and the people, wherein lies a true conflict of interests.

Execution – legitimized murder by the state – preserves and even works to justify the unjustifiable social and economic relations in this country. Rather than working to prevent crime by addressing its root social causes, the government’s jails, penal codes, and law enforcement systems contribute to crime – and we need look no further than the abominable multinational destruction wrought by the US government’s “War on Drugs” for proof of that assertion.

It has been more than two hundred years that we have struggled to abolish the barbarity of “capital punishment.” And yet they still are able to kill Teresa Lewis, and dare to call this shameful, premeditated, cold-blooded murder, justice.

– If the state’s strength is public ignorance and lack of social and personal security,
– If they back their barbarity, illogical belief and crimes with their legislation, lawmakers, and opinion-manufacturing media industry,
– If they are dependent on the absurd argument that murder and violence could ever be the solution to our society’s problems, then

WE, the advocates of humanity, have science and logic and an international army of activists against this savagery.

We can stop this barbarity here, as our movement has done in many other societies that have already abolished “capital punishment,” along with other brutal punishments of human beings, as tools of managing their societies.

This is doable, it has been done, and it is being done as we speak. We need to believe in our power, the power of logic and awareness, the power of people driven by humane consciousness, by humanity in the streets of this country. This puts a great responsibility on our shoulders, and on the shoulders of death penalty abolition movement of this country.

We, Mission Free Iran, have advocated against execution in all its forms. We consider ourselves a part of the international movement against execution. We believe execution is state sponsored terror and we believe no governing body is an exception. We believe circumstances cannot legitimize this legitimated CRIME.

We have led an international campaign against stoning, one the most savage methods of executing a human being. We consider our involvement against stoning one victory on the path towards the greater victory of abolishing other forms of execution, not only in Iran but all over the world. WE have managed to force one of the most brutal regimes in the world to a point that, after more than 31 years of globally unchallenged barbarity, it has become impossible to even think of using this method of spreading fear among people in Iran.

The fact of this achievement is as important as the way we accomplished this objective. Our way was by spreading awareness, organizing our ranks in an international arena, making our voices heard, putting our case on politicians’ agendas, and aligning them with our demands. We became an international force that could not be ignored. Our campaign against stoning in Iran shows the way to deal with our movement’s objective here in the United States too. American people, in unity with the international movement to abolish this barbarity, have the power to enforce our humane demand on the policymakers of our country. And it is time that we mobilize to do so. Death is not, and can never be, justice.

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