In 2023, Iran saw an eight-year high in executions

According to a study produced by rights groups, Iran executed at least 834 people in 2023—the second-highest number of executions in the past 20 years. The study, which was published on Tuesday by Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) in Paris and Iran Human Rights (IHR) in Norway, indicates that the nationwide demonstrations that followed Mahsa Amini’s 2022 death while in police custody were the reason behind the last year’s 43 percent increase in the use of the death penalty.

 

Although there was a strong correlation between nine executions and attacks on security officers during the 2022 protests, the death penalty was also applied more frequently in respect to other offenses. More than half of the cases involved drugs, and 471 people were killed as a result of these allegations. The study also states that there was a “grossly overrepresentation of members of ethnic minorities among those executed,” particularly the Sunni Baluch of southeast Iran. Twenty percent of the total last year consisted of the execution of at least 167 members of the Baluch minority. The minority makes up roughly 5% of Iran’s total population. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director of IHR, called the numbers a “staggering total.”

 

“The death penalty is the regime’s most important tool, and instilling fear in society is its only means of maintaining power,” he declared. He also pushed for a global response to Tehran’s application of the death penalty. “It is regrettable and gives the authorities the wrong impression that the international community is responding inconsistently to the executions in Iran,” he said. The research states that although prisons are the site of the majority of executions, seven were conducted in public, which is a considerable increase from 2022.

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