Monday, September 29, 2008

Canada Elections Part 3 - Calling all Canadians

A call to all Canadians to join in the discussion about our Election. The top political parties and media are leading us into a deep expensive trap. It is easy to talk about a "greener Canada" or makes promises for "better jobs" as they are doing. These same people gave Canadians the "opportunity" to serve coffee, serve donuts and serve food unsuitable for human consumption. All from out-of-country corporations who pay poverty wages with no benefits or even a day off. Go to a fast food outlet in Canada and you will see young children under 15 standing alongside seniors. It is sickening to let these major parties back into office in Ottawa.

They have built a giant wall of civil servants who make decisions without ever meeting a person in real life. Are you disabled? Prove it!! Do you require any extra medical care? Prove it!! Only the politicians and their civil service get the full benefits of our medical system through our tax dollars. We now have over 2 Million of this group collecting over $190,000,000,000.00 (that is 190 billion dollars) from the Canadian taxpayers with every benefit imaginable.

When a Canadian that is not a part of this exclusive club, faces a medical problem, the cost of the prescription is not affordable. The vast majority of Canadians gets the "we are sorry but your Blue Cross Plan does not cover that...". Universal Health Care in Canada is a complete "MYTH" for most Canadians. You can pay into an extra medical plan for life and be told that you are not covered for a prescription. These costs in one case, will cost a retired Mother over $1000.00 a month to keep her from going blind. She cannot afford the medication. In another case the prescription will cost nearly $500.00 dollars per month for a person living on $900.00 a month.

Canadians can send a message to this group of bandits by voting for anybody except the Liberals and Conservatives. A House of Commons filled with Independents and people from any other party, with a mandate to rid Canada of at least 30% of the civil service. Join us on YouTube as we make our views known. (Yahoo does not give any credence to Canadians so do not waste your time) We have no fear of these law breakers and criminals who accept envelopes of money. Yes it is a documented fact the former Prime Minister Mulroney accepted envelopes filled with cash. How many more never got caught, although he paid no cost, as he could afford to surround himself with highly paid lawyers.

Message from Tony

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Election Canada - A Question of Ethics

Just how much is all this climate change talk going to cost the Canadian taxpayer? Is it actually climate change or is it 'pollution' clean up? Who polluted the water, land and air? Who cut down all the forests and never replanted the trees they took?

Why are the Canadian taxpayers now being asked, to clean up the mess left behind, after the corporations made the mess? Part 2 of Election Canada with expert opinion!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Election Canada - Liberal Party of Canada

This is a series of questions to the Liberal Party of Canada for the upcoming Canadian Federal Election. All of the questions are based on the information handed out in the Liberal Green Shift Plan. The first video addresses a number of points while each following video will address only one specific question. There may be a need to take several parts of the Green Shift Plan and fold it into an overall question.

Part 1

Monday, September 22, 2008

International Day of Peace

Teaming up with a range of actors, from artists and students, to cell phone companies and chess enthusiasts, the United Nations is celebrating the International Day of Peace, which this year holds special meaning since 2008 also marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“We know that human rights are essential to peace,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message to mark the Day, which is observed every year on 21 September.

“Yet too many people around the world still have their rights violated – especially during and after armed conflict. That is why we must ensure that the rights in the Declaration are a living reality – that they are known, understood and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere,” he stated.

Mr. Ban kicked off this year's celebration of the Day at the traditional peace bell ringing ceremony in New York on Friday, joined by four UN Messengers of Peace. During the event, the Secretary-General sent a text message for peace, as part of a UN campaign that urged cell phone users to compose peace messages to be published on a website and delivered to world leaders gathered for the General Assembly this week.

Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, in his message, said it is fitting that the Day closely coincides with the opening of the body's new session each September. “This is when representatives of the 192 Member States gather to renew their commitment to work together in the quest for world peace, the eradication of poverty and to pursue the progressive advancement of human rights,” he stated.

“We must never delude ourselves, or let others pretend, that peace is merely the absence of war or some exalted state of impassivity,” he added. “ World peace will only be achieved through active resistance to all that negates and diminishes human dignity, and waging peace, is therefore, eminently political and oftentimes provocative.”

Noting that this year also marks the 60th anniversary of UN peacekeepers, Mr. D'Escoto urged support for the Organization's efforts to bring calm to conflict-ridden areas and for the over 100,000 soldiers, police and civilians deployed worldwide to keep the peace, prevent conflicts, and safeguard fragile peace processes.

The UN's peace operations around the globe are also commemorating the Day with various activities. For example, children in Naqoura were invited to paint their visions of peace on the walls of the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

In Juba, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and its partners are celebrating the Day a photo exhibition entitled “Images of Peace,” focusing on similarities and differences in the cultures of Southern Sudan and aiming to foster better community dialogue and understanding.

Meanwhile, communities across Afghanistan are marking the day with sports events, marches and gatherings, all part of what the UN mission there – known as UNAMA – has described as an “unprecedented” campaign in the run up to the Day. In addition to the many events, teams of health workers fanned out across the country in the most ambitious Peace Day polio vaccination effort to date, aiming to reach 1.8 million children.

Other UN-organized activities taking place around the world include a peace walk in Accra, an observance in cooperation with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, a peace bell ceremony in Mexico City, and a traditional UN Cup Chess Festival entitled “sports for peace” in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
In addition, 60 students from Belgrade, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, and Zagreb are gathering together today in the Austrian capital for a forum entitled "Uniting for Peace," organized by the UN Information Service (UNIS) and the City of Vienna.

Friday, September 19, 2008

World Hunger tops 900,000,000

Rising prices have plunged an additional 75 million people below the hunger threshold, bringing the estimated number of undernourished people worldwide to 923 million in 2007, FAO said today.

High food prices have reversed the previously positive trend towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people suffering from hunger worldwide by 2015, according to new figures just released by the UN agency in advance of next week’s General Assembly session on the MDGs.

The achievement of the World Food Summit goal of halving the number of hungry people is even more remote, FAO said.
FAO estimates had put the number of people suffering from chronic hunger worldwide in 2003-05 at 848 million, an increase of 6 million from the 842 million in 1990-92, the World Food Summit baseline period.

Soaring food, fuel and fertilizer prices have exacerbated the problem, the organization said. Food prices rose 52 percent between 2007 and 2008, and fertilizer prices have nearly doubled over the past year.

Worrisome trends

“The devastating effects of high food prices on the number of hungry people compound already worrisome long-term trends,” said Hafez Ghanem, FAO Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development. “Hunger increased as the world grew richer and produced more food than ever during the last decade.”

For net food buyers – which includes nearly all urban and a large share of rural households, there has been a negative short-term impact of high food prices on household income and welfare. The poorest, the landless and female-headed households have been hardest hit.

These negative trends in the fight against hunger imperil efforts to realize many of the other MDGs, according to Ghanem.

In addition to the devastating social cost of hunger on human lives, empirical evidence points to the negative impact of hunger and malnutrition on labour productivity, health and education, which ultimately causes lower levels of overall economic growth.
“Hunger is a cause of poverty, not just a consequence of it,” says FAO economist Kostas Stamoulis. “The economic cost of hunger in terms of both resources needed to deal with its effects and the value of productivity and income losses is estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars a year.”

The debilitating effect of hunger on human productivity and income leads to a hunger trap, Stamoulis says, with extreme poverty causing hunger which then perpetuates poverty.

Breaking the hunger-poverty trap

“Reducing the number of hungry people by 500 million in the remaining 7 years to 2015 will require an enormous and resolute global effort and concrete actions,” said Ghanem.

To break the hunger-poverty trap, action is urgently needed on two fronts, FAO says – making food accessible to the most vulnerable, and helping small producers raise their output and earn more.
FAO’s twin-track approach aims to create opportunities for the hungry to improve their livelihoods by promoting agricultural and rural development. It also involves policies and programmes, such as social safety nets, which enhance direct and immediate access to food by the hungry.
In December 2007 FAO launched its Initiative on Soaring Food Prices to help vulnerable countries put in place urgent measures to boost food supplies and provide policy support to improve access to food.
The Initiative includes emergency projects, either ongoing or planned, in at least 78 countries worldwide. Immediate activities include distribution of seeds, fertilizer, animal feed and other farming tools and supplies to smallholder farmers.
“Urgent, broad-based and large-scale investments are needed to address in a sustainable manner the growing food insecurity problems affecting the poor and hungry,” Ghanem said. “No single country or institution will be able to resolve this crisis on its own.”
High returns
According to FAO, the countries hardest hit by the current crisis, most of them in Africa, will need at least US$30 billion annually to ensure food security and revive long-neglected agricultural systems.
But hunger reduction has big payoffs and should be a top development priority, says Stamoulis.
“Reducing the incidence of hunger worldwide will greatly improve the chances of meeting the MDGs related to poverty reduction, education, child mortality, maternal health and disease,” he said. “Public spending on reducing hunger is an investment with very high returns.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Freedom of News and Information

On the eve of the European Union-Central Asia security summit which the French government, the current holder of the EU rotating presidency, is hosting tomorrow in Paris, Reporters Without Borders draws attention to the lack of press freedom in Central Asia, especially Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

“Despite the international community’s initiatives and despite leadership changes, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan continue to lag far behind Europe and the rest of the world in respect for freedom of news and information,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“A high price is paid in these countries for any attempts at independent or critical reporting,” the press freedom organization continued. “Arrests, violence and harassment of journalists and their families are the methods habitually used by the authorities whenever they are criticized.

“Europe must not discuss efforts to combat terrorism or drug trafficking with these countries without also raising the human rights situation. Otherwise it would mean abandoning all those who have been struggling, often for many years, for an improvement in human rights. We have a duty to defend them.”

Two years have gone by since Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty’s Turkmenistan correspondent, journalist and human rights activist Ogulsapar Muradova, 58, died from the blows she received in prison while serving a six-year sentence for helping a French TV journalist to prepare a report. There has been no proper investigation into her death despite the international community’s many appeals.

Two other activists - Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khajiyev - were arrested at the same time as Muradova and, like her, were sentenced to six or seven years in prison at the end of a trial held behind closed doors without any defense lawyers. There has been no news of either of them since the trial.

President Saparmurad Niyazov’s death in December 2006 and replacement by Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov did not usher in the hoped-for liberalization. There are even reasons for thinking that control of news and information has been reinforced, despite the opening of a few Internet cafés.

An RFE correspondent was arrested and tortured on 20 June, at the very moment that the EU and Turkmenistan were holding talks on human rights in Ashgabat. The journalist was finally released after an intense international campaign on his behalf. But the journalists still active in Turkmenistan say they are being harassed more than ever.

The situation is hardly any better in Uzbekistan, where the few remaining independent journalists are constantly hounded. A few political prisoners have been released this year, but journalists and government opponents continue to be harassed. Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov, a correspondent of the news website and author of many articles on the environment, human rights and corruption, is being held in the western city of Nukus.

Arrested on 7 June, on the eve of an international conference in Tashkent, Abdurakhmanov was initially accused of using and trafficking in drugs. When they authorities realized they could not pass Abdurakhmanov off as a drug consumer, the charges were changed to “trafficking of a large quantity of drugs” under article 25-273 of the criminal code, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Abdurakhmanov continues to insist on his innocence and says he knew nothing about the 114 grams of marijuana and 5.8 grams of opium which the police claim to have found in his car. Prosecutors presented the charges against him when his trial opened on 12 September but the police officers who supposedly found the drugs were not in court. The trial is due to continue tomorrow.

Although the situation in the three other Central Asian countries is far from ideal, they have nothing like the same level of media control and violence against journalists. Kazakhstan ranked 125th out of 169 countries in the 2007 Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index, Kyrgyzstan ranked 110th and Tajikistan ranked 115th. Both Uzbekistan (160th) and Turkmenistan (167th) were in the last 10.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Art of Doing Nothing?

A friend of mine recently became angry over the idleness of a 19-year-old male. "He's doing nothing." he said bitterly.

Road rage, office rage, and even relationship rage are familiar to us. But now idleness rage has emerged. Frequently I hear people complain about the idleness of young people. Often their complaints reach a feverish pitch.

What's behind this rage? Some people fear we're spawning a generation of slackers. But it's more likely that our fast-paced culture blinds us to the need to slow down.

In his book "In Praise of Slowness," journalist Carl Honor?? writes about Harry Lewis, who was dean of undergraduate studies at Harvard University seven years ago. During that time, Lewis wrote an open letter to first year undergraduate students after observing that they were disciples of hurry.

In his letter entitled "Slow Down," Lewis wrote how it was important to get plenty of rest and relaxation in academic life.

He also stressed the importance of cultivating the art of doing nothing. "Empty time is not a vacuum to be filled," he said. "It is the thing that enables the other things on your mind to be creatively rearranged, like the empty square in the 4x4 puzzle that makes it possible to move the other fifteen pieces around."

The art of doing nothing isn't likely to be warmly received by those who emphasize speed, competition, and efficiency. But what Lewis said in his letter shouldn't be ignored. Too often students crowd too much into their lives.

Recognizing benefits in the art of doing nothing doesn't diminish achievement and hard work. Instead it should remind us that creativity frequently comes from moments of idleness. That's not to say we don't have layabouts in our society. Contemplation can be a cover for laziness. But in our gotta-keep-up culture it would be a mistake to impose negative traits on those who need to slow down.

It's possible idleness is ultimately viewed as a subversion of the work ethic. That would explain the rage. But the work ethic is often misinterpreted. Consider how many individuals live to work rather than the other way around. In our hurry-up culture a healthy reassessment of work wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Recent studies have revealed that North Americans take significantly less vacation time than people in European countries. The same studies indicate that people have a hard time leaving work behind when they go away. It seems there's always another e-mail to check or a telephone call to make. This has consequences for family life. And it points to a deep fear: We'll be punished if we stop working.

The art of doing nothing could seem peculiar to some. But in our wired world it's not easy to slow down. Sometimes it takes mental discipline to be idle.

Multitasking and instant communication have given us many benefits. But they also produce frazzled nerves, sleep problems, strained relationships, irritability, and drug dependencies. That's why it's important for people to rejuvenate themselves by slowing down.

If we value healthy living, creativity, and peace of mind, we should recognize the need to be idle. By doing so, we may discover the benefits of simply watching a sunset.

Gerry McCarthy is editor of The Social Edge, an online social justice and faith magazine

SkyPilot says; The author fails to mention in the book or the story that young people are faced with parents who do nothing. Parents constantly complain about everything thing and blame everybody else for their failures in life. They complain about politicians and never vote. They complain about their job but never seek better employment. For all their years in school they hear from unhappy teachers. Young people are placed in front of a television set for entertainment and handed large sums of cash by detached parents.

Young people hear this from a very age and for as long as they remain at home. Is there any surprise that this kind of direction leads to bewilderment? It is also the message from the author that he is speaking about the majority of young people. Again, the confusion is in being selective about who the author is speaking. Perhaps this is new world of bullying younger people, by an adult who makes himself dollars by attacking them, rather than praising them?

Human Trafficking

The OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Eva Biaudet, urged OSCE participating States today to put victims' rights at the center when investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases.

"The victim-centred approach means taking the needs of the trafficking victim to be protected, assisted and ultimately empowered to live a dignified life, as the fundamental starting point during all phases of criminal proceedings," Biaudet said at the opening of a high-level conference in Helsinki.

The conference, titled "Successful Prosecution of Human Trafficking" and co-arranged by Biaudet's Office and the Finnish OSCE Chairmanship, aims to enhance national capacities to prosecute cases of human trafficking. The high-level event, including Finnish President Tarja Halonen and Finnish Justice Minister Tuija Brax as speakers, brings together policy makers and experts from more than 40 OSCE countries.
"We need to find ways to ensure that traffickers can no longer operate with impunity and that victims are ensured easy access to justice in a manner that ensures a respect for the victims' human rights," Brax said.

Biaudet asked participants whether the low rate of victim identification is caused by a lack of resources for investigations and understanding of the seriousness of the crime.
"Are our societies indifferent or even becoming tolerant to trafficking and exploitation? To what extent is prejudice and blaming the victim still part of the problem?"
A high number of victims all over the OSCE region still are being treated as criminals, she added, saying that officials and others often blame the victims for the exploitative conditions they are facing.

Pietro Grasso, Chief Anti-mafia Prosecutor of Italy and a keynote speaker, proposed improving the criminal justice response:
"I believe a better future for international co-operation in this area will come only with the establishment of joint investigative teams and other forms of concrete collaboration between police forces and the judiciary. Without developing such co-operation between countries of destination and origin, we will continue tackling the small fish without reaching those who direct and organize the hideous trade in persons and without touching their huge profits."
Biaudet added: "There is a clear need to develop effective legislation that makes people accountable for exploitation. I want to remind all States present that they have committed themselves to introducing a thorough discussion on how to strengthen legislative, social and cultural measures for reducing demand. The criminalization of demand is of course only one measure - but can be a most effective measure in this regard."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Violations in the South Ossetia Conflict

Civilian casualties and destruction resulted from the Georgian artillery and tank attack on Tskhinvali 7-8 August. Georgian villages north of the regional capital were destroyed and pillaged by South Ossetian militia and criminal gangs. Though some inhabitants had begun to leave during the preceding tensions, these assaults caused a mass movement of tens of thousands of fleeing people.

Lawlessness has spread in the ‘buffer zone’ controlled by Russia between Tskhinvali and Karaleti and forced many to leave even from there. When several houses and apartment buildings in Gori were hit by Russian rockets a further wave of displacement took place.

The return of displaced persons has now started but is delayed for the majority of them as safety has not been guaranteed. The ‘policing vacuum’ in the ‘buffer zone’ is unresolved. Large areas must also be de-mined from cluster bombs, mines and unexploded ordnances which now threaten ordinary people including those who normally work in the fields.

”There is certainly a need for political solutions and clear decisions on security arrangements in order for human rights to be protected”, states Commissioner Hammarberg. ”However, several important steps can be taken already now by the parties themselves and by the international community to meet the most urgent human rights requirements.” He presents six principles for urgent protection of human rights and humanitarian security:

1. The right to return of those who fled or were displaced must be guaranteed. This requires that their safety is protected and that their homes are made livable again. The repair of damaged houses is an urgent priority. Affected persons have the right to be informed about relevant developments and no one must be returned against their will.

2. Those who fled or were displaced must be ensured adequate living conditions until they can return home. This requires competent coordination of the assistance from both governmental and intergovernmental actors. Not only material needs but also psychological and psycho-social damages must be addressed.

3. The whole area affected by the warfare must be de-mined. Cluster bombs, mines, unexploded ordnances and other dangerous devices must be located, removed and destroyed. Until this is done the targeted terrain must be marked and the population clearly informed about the dangers. The parties to the conflict need to declare what type of weapons and ammunition were used, when and where. International contribution to this effort will be required and should be welcomed by both parties.

4. Physical assault, torching of houses and looting must be totally stopped and persons responsible for such crimes apprehended and held to account. The problem of the ‘policing
vacuum’ in the so-called buffer zone between Tskhinvali and Karaleti must be resolved urgently.

5. Prisoners of War, other detainees and persons stranded in unsafe situations must be protected and rescued through continued humanitarian efforts. The established mechanism for dialogue and mutual exchanges of such cases should be kept in place and fully supported, also by the international community. There is a need to establish a coordinated system for assembling and acting upon information on missing persons.

6. International presence and assistance are needed in the area affected by the conflict. The programs of UNHCR, UNICEF, ICRC and other agencies should be supported and the OSCE be given authority and resources to expand its mission. Apart from cease-fire observers and police presence there is a need for specialized human rights monitors – who could also operate in coordination with the domestic ombudsmen. The protection of minorities must be a key priority and positive inter-community relations must be encouraged.

During the mission Commissioner Hammarberg met President Saakasvili, Foreign Minister Tkehshelashvili and three other ministers and two deputy ministers of the Georgian government in Tbilisi and with the Speaker of the Duma, the Chairman of the Council of the Federation and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. He also had a special telephone exchange with Foreign Minister Lavrov representing President Medvedev. During his travel he also met the de facto Prime Minister of South Ossetia, Boris Chochiev.

He cooperated closely with the Russian ombudsman Vladmir Lukin, the Georgian public defender Sozar Subari and the de facto ombudsman in South Ossetia, David Sanakoev. The latter – together with the Georgian parliamentarian Givi Targamadze - played a key role in the exchange of the more than 100 detained persons which took place with the assistance of the Commissioner.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

NATO Nuclear Weapons

Europe is heavily armed with nuclear weapons. Both Britain and France possess their own nuclear forces and the United States has a long history of keeping nuclear weapons on European soil. Britain’s nuclear force is estimated at under 200 weapons, with approximately 150 deployed on four Vanguard submarines and the remainder kept in reserve. France is thought to have approximately 350 nuclear weapons in its Force de frappe (strike force). The US keeps some 200-350 nuclear weapons in six countries: Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy, Turkey and the UK. Recent unconfirmed reports indicate that the US has pulled its nuclear weapons out of the UK. If this is correct, approximately 240 US nuclear weapons remain in five European countries.

On the NATO website, it states, “NATO has radically reduced its reliance on nuclear forces. Their role is now more fundamentally political, and they are no longer directed towards a specific threat.” This is a rather enigmatic statement, leaving one to ponder how nuclear weapons are used in a “fundamentally political” role. The NATO website adds, “NATO's reduced reliance on nuclear forces has been manifested in a dramatic reduction in the number of weapons systems and storage facilities. NATO has also ended the practice of maintaining standing peacetime nuclear contingency plans and as a result, NATO's nuclear forces no longer target any country.”

Given the fact that NATO does not target any other country with nuclear weapons, one wonders what role they still serve. Again, the NATO website provides an answer, which is “to maintain only the minimum number of nuclear weapons necessary to support its strategy of preserving peace and preventing war.” But this still leaves one wondering with whom one is “preserving peace and preventing war.” Although nothing is stated, it would seem that the answer is likely to be Russia. This might explain why NATO has expanded up to the Russian western border, despite earlier US promises to Russia not to do so, and also why the US continues to pursue the placement of missile defense installations in new NATO states Poland and the Czech Republic, despite continuing Russian protests.

NATO reasoning for maintaining nuclear weapons seems very flimsy. If there is anything that is clear about nuclear weapons, it is that they cannot protect their possessors. All of the nuclear weapons in Europe cannot protect any European city from a nuclear attack by an extremist organization. Reliance upon these weapons provides an incentive for nuclear proliferation, increasing the possibilities that these weapons will fall into the hands of such an organization and will be used.

If European nations want to provide true security to the citizens of their countries, they should end NATO’s reliance upon nuclear weapons by taking the following steps:

  • Call for the removal of all US nuclear weapons from Europe.

  • Call for the US to remove its missile defense installations from the Russian border

  • Negotiate the removal of all tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and the western regions of Russia.

  • Create a global treaty to bring all weapons-grade fissile material under strict and effective international control.

  • Call for the NATO nuclear weapons states (US, UK and France) to fulfill their obligations under the
    Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for good faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament.

  • Take a leading role in initiating negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, setting forth a roadmap for the phased,
    verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons.

  • Join Russia and China in negotiating a ban on space weaponization.

David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (, and a councilor of the World Future Council (

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Iran Executes Sixth Juvenile Offender This Year

Zare is the sixth juvenile offender Iran has executed this year. No other country is known to have executed a juvenile offender in 2008. Since January 2005, Iran has executed at least 26 juvenile offenders. During the same period, only four other countries – Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, and Pakistan – are known to have executed any juvenile offenders, with a combined total of six such executions in the four countries.

"Iran leads the world in executing juvenile offenders" said Clarisa Bencomo, researcher on children's rights in the Middle East at Human Rights Watch. "Everywhere else, countries are moving to end this abhorrent practice, but in Iran the numbers of death sentences seem to be increasing."

Branch 5 of the Fars Criminal Court had sentenced Zare to death on November 13, 2005, for a murder committed on April 21, 2005, when he was 16. Branch 33 of the Supreme Court upheld the ruling on May 14, 2007. Authorities at Shiraz Prison executed Zare on August 26, 2008.

Zare's family and his lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, only learned of Zare's execution after the fact, although Iranian law requires that the lawyer be notified 48 hours before the execution. Zare's family and lawyer had been trying to reach a settlement with the victim's family at the time of the execution.

Zare's execution closely follows the execution of juvenile offender Seyyed Reza Hejazi at Isfahan Central Prison on August 19, 2008. Branch 106 of the Isfahan General Court had convicted Hejazi of murder on November 14, 2005, for his role in a 2003 fight involving several people. Hejazi was 15 at the time of the crime, and repeatedly told authorities that he had not intended to kill the victim.

As in the case of Zare, the authorities did not notify Hejazi's lawyer, also Mohammad Mostafaei, 48 hours prior to the execution. Instead, Mostafaei learned of the pending execution from a journalist the night before. Prison authorities refused to allow Mostafaei to visit Hejazi the morning of the execution, and he eventually left after a prison official told him the execution had been stayed. Instead, prison officials executed Hejazi an hour later.
"Killing people for crimes committed as children provides neither justice nor safety for Iranian society," Bencomo said. "The Iranian authorities' willingness to lie to lawyers and to deprive families of a last chance to see their loved ones only underscores the depravity of these executions."