TEHERAN – The authority Iran already execute 55 people in 2023, Norway-based Human Rights of Iran (IHR) said on Friday (27/1/2023). It also said the soaring use of the death penalty was aimed at creating fear as protests rocked the country.
The IHR said it had confirmed at least 55 executions in the first 26 days of this year. “Four people have been executed on protest-related charges, while the majority of those hanged – 37 inmates – were executed for drug-related offences,” the IHR statement said.
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“At least 107 people are still at risk of being executed for the demonstrations after being sentenced to death or charged with serious crimes,” the statement continued.
With Iran’s use of the death penalty soaring in recent years, the IHR argues that “any execution by the Islamic Republic is political” as its primary aim “is to create fear and terror in society”.
“To stop the state’s execution machine, no execution should be tolerated, be it political or non-political,” said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.
He added that the lack of reaction from the international community risks lowering the political cost of executing protesters.
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Activists accuse Iran of using the death penalty as an instrument of intimidation to quell protests that erupted in September after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was arrested for allegedly violating the country’s dress code for women.
UN human rights chief Volker Turk said Iran’s arsenal of criminal procedures to punish demonstrators “amounts to state-sanctioned killings.”
On Friday, Amnesty said three people sentenced to death in December had suffered torture “including flogging, electrocution, hanging upside down and death threats at gunpoint”.
The IHR and other rights groups have not published execution figures in Iran for 2022. But it said in early December that more than 500 people had been hanged by then – the highest figure in five years.
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