Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); October 10, 2023: Today, we mark World Day Against the Death Penalty while the execution surge following the “Woman, Life, Freedom” nationwide protests continues across Iran.
According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 534 people including five protesters and 13 women have been executed in 2023. This is a 25% increase compared to the same period last year.
On the 21st World Day Against the Death Penalty, Iran Human Rights calls on the international community and the abolition movement to support the right to life and the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement with even more force.
Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “The death penalty is the most important tool of political repression for the dictatorship ruling Iran. Abolishing this inhumane punishment and defending the right to life as an inherent human right, is one of the main pillars of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement. Today, Iranians need the global abolition movement’s support and solidarity more than before.”
Facts and figures about January to 10 October 2023 executions:
Observed every 10 October, the World Day Against the Death Penalty unifies the global abolitionist movement and mobilises civil society, political leaders and public opinion to support the call for universal abolition of capital punishment. The 21st World Day Against the Death Penalty has been dedicated to “Death penalty: an Irreversible Torture” by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
In 2023, there has been a rise in the number of executions in Iran. According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 534 people including 5 protesters and 13 women, have been executed in 2023.
However, only 13% (71) of the recorded executions have been announced by official sources, and 87% (463) were reported or verified and recorded by Iran Human Rights through its reliable sources inside Iran and human rights defenders.
Rise in executions compared to previous years:
The number of executions recorded between 1 January-10 October 2023 has increased by 25% compared to the same period in 2022 when 428 executions were recorded, and more than doubled compared to the average of 2019-2021 (see the chart below)
Execution of Baluch minorities:
At least 111 Baluch citizens have so far been executed in 2023, representing 21% of all executions. This is while they represent 2-5% of Iran’s population. Of the 111, 94 people including two women, were executed for drug-related charges, 31% of all drug-related executions in 2023.
Execution of juvenile offenders:
The Islamic Republic is one of the last remaining governments to still execute juvenile offenders. At least three people who are believed to have been juvenile offenders were executed in 2023. Iran Human Rights is working to verify their exact age at the time of the alleged offence. Ali Najafi, Abdolsamad Shahuzehi and Mohammad Rigi were all executed for murder charges.
Execution of women:
At least 13 women were executed by the Islamic Republic in 2023. Of those, 11 were sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder and two Baluch women were sentenced to death for drug-related offences.
Continuing rise in drug-related executions:
At least 305 people including two women have been executed for drug-related offences since the beginning of the year. This is while 180 people were executed for the charges in the same period in 2022 and 83 in 2021. More details are presented in the report published below on the occasion of the 2023 World Day Against Death Penalty.
In 2002, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty declared 10 October as the World Day Against the Death Penalty with the goal of abolishing the inhuman and irreversible punishment, and is considered a turning point in the fight against the death penalty. The World Coalition consists of 180 members from five continents, of which 20 organisations including Iran Human Rights are members of its Steering Committee. The Committee is responsible for making necessary decisions to implement the Coalition’s strategy. It should be noted that more than two thirds of countries are abolitionist in law or practice.