At least 883 people were executed in 2022, according to Amnesty International. This is more than in the last 5 years.
Helge Limburg still remembers January 7th well. For the representative of the Greens in the Bundestag, that day was “a day of sadness and anger”. It was the day when Iranian Mohammad Mehdi Karimi was executed. The karate champion was only 22 years old when he was “killed”, as Limburg told DW, “because there was no due process”.
Helge Limburg didn’t know Mohammad Mehdi Karimi personally, but she cared about the young Iranian. As a political act, out of solidarity with the democratic movement in Iran – and above all, hoping that his commitment could prevent Karim’s execution. Despite the distance and the fact that he never got to speak to Karim on the phone, Limburg reports that they had developed a personal relationship. “I had occasional contact with the people around him, and I felt very close to him. My family also shared the emotions and suffered,” says Limburg.
According to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Folker Turk, Mohamed Mehdi Karimi is one of at least 209 people who have been executed in Iran this year. Iran is the country with the highest number of death sentences in the world. This is according to Amnesty International’s latest report on death sentences and executions in 2022. Last year, at least 576 people were killed in Iran – almost twice as many as in 2021.
“In Iran, the regime is afraid of losing its power,” analyzes Renata Alt. The liberal politician (FDP) is the chairwoman of the Bundestag Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. “This is why it is important to draw attention to the many prisoners through political guardianship. Otherwise, perhaps even more people would have been executed,” Alt added in a written statement to DW.