Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); August 3, 2023: Rahim Ghaljayi, a Baluch man sentenced to death for drug-related charges, was secretly executed in Birjand Prison. He is the 12th Baluch man to be secretly executed for drug charges between 30 July-1 August.
According to Hal Vash, a Baluch man was secretly executed in Birjand Prison on 1 August. His identity has been reported as 46-year-old Rahim Ghaljayi, a Mashhad resident.
Rahim was arrested for drug-related charges in Birjand around two years ago and sentence to death by the Birjand Revolutionary Court. His execution was carried out without his family being notified and the right to a last visit.
He was executed along with Farhad Badrouzeh who was also executed for drug-related charges.
At the time of writing, neither of their executions have been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.
Ethnic minorities, the Baluch in particular, are grossly overrepresented in execution numbers in Iran. In 2022, at least 174 Baluch minorities including 3 women, were executed in 22 prisons across Iran, making up 30% of overall executions. This is while they represent just 2-6% of Iran’s population. Furthermore, in the first six months of 2023, 20% of the at least 354 executions were Baluch people.
Baluch minorities also represented almost half of drug-related executions in 2022. 47.3% of the 256 people executed for drug-related charges were Baluch.
Drug-related executions have continuously risen every year for the past three years. At least 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.