Human rights groups have reported a significant increase in the number of executions carried out by Iranian authorities in the year 2022. According to a report by Iran Human Rights (IHR) based in Norway and the Paris-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM), 582 individuals were executed, representing a 75% increase from the previous year.
The report states that among those executed were four individuals who had participated in the protests that erupted in late 2022, following the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who died while in police custody for allegedly wearing a hijab incorrectly. The two groups condemned what they described as an “execution machine” and criticized the lack of transparency in announcing the executions.
The groups noted that over half of those executed since the start of the protests were sentenced to death on drug-related charges. They also reported that 88% of all executions and 99% of drug-related ones were not acknowledged by the authorities. The report stated that 49% of the executions were for murder charges.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, Director of Iran Human Rights, described every execution in Iran as political, regardless of the charges, and criticized the regime in Tehran for using “low-cost victims” to spread fear among the population. He further explained that due to the international condemnation of the executions of protestors, the regime needs “to compensate, and in order to spread fear among people, the authorities have intensified the execution for non-political charges.”
Iran’s handling of the September 2022 protests has drawn widespread condemnation and resulted in Western sanctions. The increase in executions reported by the two human rights groups is likely to further exacerbate tensions with the international community.
The IHR report claims that of the people executed in 2022, three were juveniles and at least sixteen were women.