Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 31, 2023: Mohammad Arbab and Asadollah Amini, two Afghan nationals and Baluch minorities sentenced to death for drug-related charges, were secretly executed in Zabol Prison.
According to Hal Vash, two Afghan men were secretly executed in Zabol Prison on 30 and 31 July. Their identities have been reported as 30-year-old Mohammad Arbab and 32-year-old Asadollah Amini (pictured), both Baluch and from Nimrouz in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Arbab’s death penalty was carried out on 30 July and Assadollah Amini was executed the next day.
Both men were arrested around two years ago and sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Zabol Revolutionary Court. Their executions were carried out without their families being notified and the right to have a last visit to say goodbye.
At the time of writing, none of their executions have been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.
It is important to note that Afghan nationals constitute the largest group of non-Iranian executions and death row cases in Iranian prisons. In 2021, no execution of Afghan nationals was recorded until September, when five men were executed in the space of 35 days. On 10 October 2021, Iran Human Rights expressed its concern that the Taliban takeover in August had facilitated the execution of Afghan nationals. That number more than tripled in 2022, with 16 Afghan nationals including a juvenile offender and a woman executed. At least 11 Afghans have been executed in 2023 so far, with two publicly hanged on 8 July.
Drug-related executions have continuously risen every year for the past three years. 206 people were executed for drug-related charges in the first six months of 2023, a 126% rise compared to the same period in 2022 when 91 were executed. 40 people were executed in the same period in 2021.
The number of drug executions dramatically dropped in 2018 following a 2017 Amendment to the Anti-Narcotics Laws. Consequently, drug executions ranged between 24-30 per annum between 2018-2020. The Amendment was reversed in practice in 2021 when executions increased ten-fold to 126 in 2021 and doubled again in 2022 with 256 drug-related executions.