Middle East

Number of executions in Iran has increased

According to a report, 834 people were executed in Iran in 2023.

This is an increase of around 40 percent compared to the previous year. Human rights activists criticize the regime for using the death penalty for oppression.

According to human rights activists, at least 834 people were executed in Iran in 2023. This corresponds to an increase in executions of 41 percent compared to 2022. This emerges from a report by the human rights organizations Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM).

According to the report, the Iranian government does not make most of the executions public. According to this, only around 15 percent of the executions were officially announced. The remaining cases were confirmed by the Iran Human Rights organization from its own sources. More than half of all those executed were sentenced to death for drug-related offenses. A third were accused of murder.

Death penalty “important instrument” of the regime

The use of the death penalty is an instrument of oppression in Iran, the report says. IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said in a statement: “Inciting fear in society is the regime’s only way to stay in power, and the death penalty is its main tool.” He also complained about an “inconsistent response from the international community.”

Activists have been criticizing the practice of capital punishment in Iran for decades. There are no official figures on executions.

Protesters also executed

Executions of participants in the mass protests in autumn 2022 caused particularly large international protests. Since then, the Islamic Republic has executed nine people who took part.

Members of ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented among those executed. Members of the Sunni Baloch minority, who live in southeastern Iran, made up around a fifth of those executed in 2023, even though their share of the population was only five percent. The death penalty is often carried out in prisons and people are often hanged.

Most executions since 2015

The last time more death sentences were carried out was in 2015, when almost 1,000 people were executed. Human rights activists also recorded an increase in public executions last year. Seven people were executed by public hanging.


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