Iran Continues its Horrific Wave of Executions with No Respect to Int’l Obligations

The Iranian authorities have embarked on an execution spree, killing at least 251 people between 1 January and 30 June 2022, rights sources revealed

The sources warned that if executions continue at this horrifying pace, they will soon surpass the total of 314 executions recorded for the whole of 2021.

The Abdorrahman Boroumand Centre for Human Rights in Iran reported that Iranian authorities put three women to death two months ago for murdering their husbands.

The women were among 32 people executed within a week, according to the group.

A former child bride, convicted of later killing the man she had married at the age of 15, was among them.

Authorities are believed to have substantially stepped up their use of the death penalty, executing twice as many people so far this year than last.

Rights groups report that Iran also executes more women than any other country, the majority of whom are thought to have been found guilty of killing their husbands.

According to the rights source, Iran is at the forefront of the world’s executions of women, and there is no accurate data on the number of executions, as the Iranian authorities do not officially declare every case where the death penalty has been carried out.

Rights Concerns Raised

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty, Iran Human Rights Director, Mahmoud Amiri-Moghaddam said, “While most of those executed were charged with crimes such as murder and drug offences, the authorities use the death penalty as a political tool. The executions are carried out with the aim of suppressing dissent.”

Earlier in the month, Amnesty International’s annual report on the worldwide use of the death penalty showed Iran as a country with a “disturbing spike” in executions.

The 66-page report found Iran executed at least 314 people in 2021, a 28 percent jump from at least 246 in 2020 and the highest figure since 2017. Amnesty said that in Iran “death sentences were disproportionately used against members of ethnic minorities.”

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javaid Rehman, details observations regarding trends, concerns and progress made in the protection of human rights, with a particular focus on arbitrary deprivation of life and an increase in executions.

Other aspects covered in the report include arbitrary detention, the authorities’ response to protests, restrictions on civic space actors and freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

The report explained that at least 251 people were executed in the first six months of this year, and that between January 1 As of June 30, 2022, at least 251 people had been executed, including at least 6 women and 5 Afghan citizens, indicating that more than 55 people had been executed in May of this year, the highest number of monthly executions since 2017.

Also, according to the report, in the first six months of 2022, at least 80 people were executed in connection with drug-related crimes in the country.

The report described the issuance of these judgements and the dramatic increase in their implementation as “worrying”; in particular executions on the basis of drug-related offences.

The report added as well that “official information” about executed persons is not provided, but based on verified information, at least 330 people were executed in Iran in 2021, at least two of whom were children at the time of the crime, meaning they were under the age of 18. The Iranian regime also executed at least 10 women last year.

Executions after unfair trials

Senior Iranian lawyer Nizam Mir Mohammadi, a former political prisoner who spent several years in Evin and Jawhar Dasht prisons, said there was a rapid pace in the execution of death sentences, recently, with torture coupled with judicial rulings being used to threaten, suppress and liquidate his political and opposition opponents.

The death penalty in Iran is imposed after systematically unfair trials, with routinely tortured “confessions” being used as evidence. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran stated that “deep-rooted defects in the law… means that most, if not all, executions are arbitrary deprivation of life “.

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