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6 Unnamed Men Executed for Drug Charges in Ardabil

20 Dec 23
6 Unnamed Men Executed for Drug Charges in Ardabil

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); December 20, 2023: State media have reported the execution of six unnamed men for drug-related charges in Ardabil Central Prison.

According to Tasnim Ardabil, six men were executed in Ardabil Central Prison on 20 December. Four of the men were sentenced to death for “buying, carrying and possession” of methamphetamine and heroin.” The other two who are referred to as “dealers” were sentenced to death for possession of cannabis, methamphetamine and heroin.

ISNA had previously reported the execution of three drug defendants on 14 December without providing any details. The report also stated that another prisoner had been executed in the last days.

An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “Nobody has been transferred for execution in Ardabil Central Prison since 20th November. These six prisoners were probably transferred to Ardabil Central Prison for execution from another prison.”

 Drug-related executions have continuously risen every year for the past three years. At least 305 people were executed for drug-related charges between 1 January-10 October 2023, a 69% increase compared to the same period in 2022, and the number of drug-related executions in 2023 were close to 20 times higher than 2020.

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. On 13 September 2023, IHRNGO reported a 94% rise in the number of drug-related executions in the year following the start of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement in September 2022.