Most Executions Unannounced by Iranian Authorities

March 14, 2016, 10:20 p.m.

About 60% of all executions included in IHR's 8th annual report on the death penalty were unannounced by Iranian authorities.

Iran Human Rights (MAR 15 2016): IHR's annual report distinguishes between official and unofficial or unannounced executions. The group's unofficial execution reports are verified and confirmed by two independent sources. About 60% of all executions included in this report were not announced by Iranian authorities. Some of these executions were carried out in secret, without the family or the lawyer being informed, and some were simply not announced by the official media. Only 373 of the total 969 executions cases in 2015 were announced by official sources.

Official executions are those announced by official websites of the Iranian judiciary, Iranian police, the National Iranian Broadcasting Network, official or state-run news agencies and national or local newspapers. Unofficial or unannounced executions are not announced by official sources, but are confirmed by IHR through unofficial channels. These include other human rights NGOs or IHR’s sources within Iran. The sources of unofficial reports are often eyewitnesses, family members, lawyers, sources within the prisons and the Iranian judiciary. IHR has only included unofficial reports that were confirmed by two independent sources.

In 2015, IHR received reports of secret or unannounced executions from 16 different prisons across the country. In the ethnic regions of Baluchistan, Azerbaijans (East and West), and Kurdistan more than 97% of the executions were either carried out secretly or were not announced by official Iranian media.

The unannounced executions of 2015 are marked yellow in the graph above and are categorized based on province (excluding the Tehran and Karaj areas). Prisons in the provinces of Fars (south), West Azerbaijan (northwest), Hormozgan (south) and Kerman (southeast) had the highest number of executions.

The yellow in the diagram above represents the unofficial/unannounced executions in the two provinces of Iran with the highest number of executions in 2015. Ghezelhesar and Rajai Shahr prisons in Karaj were the sites with the highest number of both officially announced and unannounced executions in 2015.


• At least 596 (61%) of the executions were not announced by official Iranian sources

• Drug related offences accounted for the charges in 77% of the unannounced executions

• Executions of women and foreign citizens (mainly Afghan and Pakistani) were mainly not announced

• Executions for none of the political or security related charges were announced by the official sources