Iran Human Rights (IHR); December 16, 2020: The death sentences of around 50 prisoners who have been convicted of “drug-related” charges, have been upheld on appeal and they are at imminent risk of execution.
According to Iran Human Rights, around 50 death row inmates in Ward 15 of Urmia Central Prison have had their sentences confirmed and are at imminent risk of execution. The 50 prisoners have been sentenced to death on "drug-related" charges, and according to informed sources, there is pressure from the Urmia Prosecutor's Office to carry out their sentences as soon as possible.
An informed source told IHR: "The prison warden and the Amnesty and Pardon Commission have pressured these prisoners to request a pardon. But since most of them have denied the charges against them and have not confessed, they are worried that this may be a trap and their request for a pardon would be deemed as accepting the charges and confessing.”
They continued: “Once, they came and asked a prisoner to request a pardon at 11 pm, which he did and in the morning, they came and took him for execution.”
There has been a dramatic drop in drug-related executions since a new article was added to the Anti-Drugs Law around three years ago. The amendment, which was passed into law in 2017, specifically restricts the death penalty and provides a degree of reduction in some drug-related cases.
According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report on the death penalty in Iran, at least 30 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2019.