Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); June 6, 2022: Mehdi Sarhadi, a Baluch man sentenced to death for drug-related charges, was executed in Isfahan Central Prison despite promise of pardon if he memorised Quran verses.
According to the Baluch Activists Campaign, a Baluch man was executed Isfahan Central Prison on May 29. His identity has been reported as 36-year-old Mehdi Sarhadi who was sentenced to death for drug-related charges.
He was arrested in Isfahan around four years ago and sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court.
An informed source said: “Prison officials told Mehdi that he would be pardoned if he learnt a joz from the Quran off by heart. He was memorising his second joz when his sentence was carried out.”
The Quran is divided into 30 jozs, each of which are around 20 pages. According to the source, the Baluch man had been transferred to the gallows several times prior to his execution.
At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.
According to reports compiled by Iran Human Rights, at least 126 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2021, a fivefold increase compared to drug executions in the previous three years. None of the 2021 drug-related executions were reported by official sources. Data gathered by Iran Human Rights also shows that Baluch prisoners accounted for 21% of all executions in 2021, while only representing 2–6% of Iran’s population.