The Iranian regime increased executions by 75% in 2022: “Machinery to sow terror”

An Iranian policeman was preparing an execution in Tehran. EFE/Abedin Taherkenareh/File (ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH/)

At least 582 people were executed by hanging in Iran in 2022, a 75% more than the 333 of 2021according to data published Thursday by human rights defense organizationswho denounced a “execution machine” for “sow terror.”

It is also the highest number of executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2015, specifies the report, carried out by the group Iran human rights (IHR), headquartered in Norwayand United Against the Death Penalty (ECPM, for its acronym in French), based on Paris.

Last year was marked by national demonstrations triggered in September by the death of Mahsa Aminia 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, who had been arrested for allegedly failing to comply with the country’s strict dress code for women.

The authorities responded with a wave of arrests and convictions, including four people sentenced to death and executed for their alleged involvement in the protests, sparking international outcry.

“In order to stop the death machine of the Iranian regime, it is necessary for the international community and civil society, whether ‘on the ground’ or not, to actively show their opposition every time a person is executed in the country,” he said. IHR Director, Mahmood Amiry Moghaddam.

The report further states that currently about 100 detainees are sentenced to death or indicted on charges punishable by capital punishment.

A woman takes part in a protest against Iran's Islamic regime following the death of Mahsa Amini.  REUTERS/Dilara Senkaya
A woman takes part in a protest against Iran’s Islamic regime following the death of Mahsa Amini. REUTERS/Dilara Senkaya (DILARA SENKAYA/)

“In order to instill fear in the population and in the young protesters, the authorities have intensified the executions of prisoners convicted for non-political reasons,” lamented the director of IHR.

systematic discrimination

Those accused of drug-related crimes were the most affected, according to the same sources.

Executions for drug cases had been falling since a change in legislation in 2017.

But after the start of the protests in September they rebounded and totaled 256 in 2022, 44% of the 582 executions that year.

The number doubles in 2021 and represents ten times more than in 2020 for these types of crimes.

In this regard, the authors of the report denounced the “lack of reaction” of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Hangings are common under Iran's theocratic regime
Hangings are common under Iran’s theocratic regime

“It does not send the right message to the Iranian authorities. The abolition of the death penalty for crimes related to drug trafficking must be an indispensable condition for future cooperation” between that organization and Iran”, estimates the director of ECPM, Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan.

Some 30% of all those executed belonged to the Sunni minority in Balochistan, which represents barely between 2% and 6% of the country’s population, of the majority Shiite confession, another branch of Islam.

There were also demographically disproportionate numbers of Kurds and Arabs executed, the majority for alleged drug-related crimes.

“Capital punishment is part of the systematic discrimination and extensive repression to which ethnic minorities in Iran”, the report states.

Most of the executions (288, 49%) were ordered for cases of murder, a record in the last 15 years.

(With information from AFP)

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