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Iran executed at least 834 people in 2023, highest number since 2015 (NGO)

Iran carried out at least 834 people in 2023, an "alarming" by 43% compared to à 2022 and the highest number since 2015, according to the annual report of the NGOs Iran Human Rights and Ensemble Against the Death Penalty.

“The number of executions has literally exploded in 2023”, underlines this 16th NGO report on the death penalty in Iran.

“This is the second time in 20 years that the number of executions has exceeded the threshold of 800 per year”, argue these organizations which denounce a “terrible” number “.

Executions in Iran, one of the countries that executes the most alongside China and Saudi Arabia, are carried out by hanging.

In 2023, at least 22 women were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the highest number in the last ten years, these NGOs report.

In 2015, the Iranian authorities carried out the execution of 972 people, recall Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO), based in Norway, and Ensemble Contre la Penatime de Mort (ECPM), based in Paris.

Iran executed at least 834 people in 2023, highest number since 2015 (NGO)

Capital punishment in Iran © AFP – Jonathan WALTER

In this 100-page report, these NGOs accuse Iran of using the death penalty as a “tool of political repression” after the vast protest movement in this country.

This movement was triggered by the death in September 2022 of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, three days after being arrested by the moral police for non-compliance with the strict dress code in Iran. Her family and human rights activists maintain that she was beaten to death, which Iranian officials deny.

The protests, which had rocked the regime of the Islamic Republic, have now calmed down in the face of repression which has led to the death of hundreds of people according to rights defense associations, and thousands of arrests according to the UN.

– 83 people executed in 2024 –

“Instilling fear in society is the only way for the regime to cling to power, and the death penalty is its most important instrument,” denounces Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of IHRNGO, in a press release.

During a press conference Tuesday in Paris, the director of ECPM, Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, castigated “an instrumentalization of the death penalty by the regime to fight against all disputes.

The report does not include in its statistics the “at least 551 people killed during protests or other extrajudicial executions inside and outside outside prisons”, notes the press release.

According to these NGOs, at least eight demonstrators are among those executed in 2023, six of whom had been arrested in the context of the demonstrations and condemned.

According to the report, at least 471 people (56% of total executions) were executed in 2023 for drug-related cases and at least 282 people (34% of total executions) were executed for murder.< /p>

Iran applies Sharia law (Islamic law) which provides for the death penalty for crimes such as drug trafficking, rape or murder.

This country, which has one of the highest rates of opioid users in the world, is one of the main routes for transporting drugs from from neighboring Afghanistan.

“The spectacular escalation in the number of drug-related executions in 2023 is particularly worrying”, say NGOs, stressing that people executed “belong to the most marginalized communities in society, and to ethnic minorities”.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam says he is very concerned “about the current lack of strong reaction at the international level” to these executions, while the international community is focused on the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas. This lack of reaction “sends the wrong signal to the Iranian authorities”, he believes.

“Unfortunately, this international indignation is missing, particularly in the second half of the year 2023,” added Mr. Amiry-Moghaddam during the press briefing on Tuesday. “As long as the political cost of these executions is not high, their number increases,” he lamented.

Until now in 2024, at At least 83 people have been executed in Iran, according to IHRNGO.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116