Iran Human Rights (IHR); May 26, 2021: Six Baluch prisoners on death row for drug-related charges, were secretly executed in Birjand Central Prison in late April. According to IHR statistics, at least 35 people have so far been executed on drug-related charges in 2021.
According to the Baloch Activists Campaign, six Baluch men were executed in Birjand Central Prison on April 24. They had all been sentenced to death on drug-related charges.
One of them has been named as Javad Nakhaei but no information is available on the other five men’s identities.
At the time of writing and despite almost a month passing, their executions have not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.
Two other Baluch minorities, Abdullah and Younes Totazehi, were also executed on drug-related charges in Birjand Central Prison on May 19.
It has been almost four years since an Article was added to the Anti-Narcotics Law in 2017 to limit death sentences specifically and provide a general degree of reprieve in some cases. However, while the numbers reduced that year, the death penalty is still being used in drug-related cases.
According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 25 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2020. However, at least 35 people have so far been executed on drug-related charges in 2021, the majority of whom have been Baluch minorities.
On May 3, IHR published a report on the death penalty in the first four months of 2021 expressing concern at the significant increase in the number of drug-related executions and continues to warn of the continuation of this trend.