Iran recorded highest number of executions in almost 10 years

The number of executions, carried out by hanging in Iran, rose 43% compared to the previous year.

Two persons awaiting to be hanged in Iran.

Iran executed a total of 834 people last year, the highest number since 2015, when the use of capital punishment spiked in the country, two human rights organizations reported Tuesday.

The number of executions, carried out by hanging in this country, rose 43% compared to the previous year.

It was the second time in two decades that more than 800 executions were carried out in a year, following the 972 carried out in 2015, Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Together Against the Death Penalty reported in a joint statement ( ECPM) in French, based in Paris.

The groups accused Iran of using the death penalty to spread fear in society after the protests sparked by the death in 2022 of the young Mahsa Amini, while in police custody.

“Instilling social fear is the only way the regime clings to power, and the death penalty is its most important instrument,” Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of IHR, noted in the report.

Iran has executed nine men in cases of attacks on security forces in protests, two in 2022, six in 2023 and one so far in 2024, according to the groups.

Executions increased on other charges, especially drug cases, which had fallen in recent years.

“The dramatic increase in the number of executions for drugs in 2023 is of particular concern, reaching 471 people, more than 18 times what was recorded in 2020,” the report states.

Members of ethnic minorities, particularly the Sunni Baluchs of southeastern Iran, are “strongly overrepresented among those executed” on drug charges, he adds.

At least 167 members of the Baloch minority were executed, or 20% of the total executions in 2023, despite the group representing only 5% of the Iranian population.

Most hangings in Iran take place in the confines of a prison, but the report notes that hangings in public places tripled in 2023 from the previous year, with seven executions.

At least 22 women were executed, the highest number in the last decade, according to the report.

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