Iran is carrying out executions “on an alarming scale”, killing at least 419 people in the first seven months of this year alone, said a new report by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
According to this report, there was a 30 percent increase in capital punishment in Iran, compared to the same period of the previous year. The rate of executions has risen sharply, particularly since the start of protests in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran in 2022 while in custody for allegedly violating hijab-wearing rules.
The authorities have suppressed the protests, leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured. Guterres said in the report that seven men were executed for taking part in protests that were sparked by Amin’s death. In all seven cases, the information obtained “consistently showed that the court proceedings did not meet the requirements for due process and fair trial under international human rights law,” he said.
The data was first published in October in a report by Javaid Rehman, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Iran. The report said that there is evidence “that the admission of guilt was obtained through torture and that the death penalty was applied after the principles of a fair trial were violated in the judicial proceedings.”
Guterres also mentioned information that the UN human rights agency has received in the period between September 17, 2022 and February 8, 2023, a period in which it is estimated that 20,000 people were arrested for participating in protests.
“It is particularly concerning that most of those arrested may have been children, given reports that the average age of those arrested is believed to be 15 years old, according to the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Guterres said.
The head of the UN expressed concern “about the lack of transparency and independent investigations into human rights violations, especially in the context of the recent nationwide protests.” He said 239 people – more than half of those executed in the first seven months of 2023 – were reportedly sentenced to death for drug-related crimes.
The human rights organization, Amnesty International, has said that the regime in Tehran executes more people than all countries in the world, excluding China, and has described the prisons of this country as “killing fields”.