Iran executed “at least” 46 people in January, a steep increase on the same month in the past three years.
The Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) reported Thursday that 17 people were executed in Iranian prisons on drug-related charges and 21 for murder.The grounds were unclear in the remaining eight cases.
The number jumped from 27 the same month in 2021, 33 in 2020, and 36 in 2019. Fifteen of the 46 were Baluchi, a minority people living in Iran’s south east bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The rights group said that only six executions were reported by Iranian media and officials, but that it had verified the other 40.
IHRNGO Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said “the international community” should “not turn a blind eye” to the wave of executions as talks continued in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
“We reiterate that the international community must prioritize human rights, especially the death penalty, in any negotiations with the Islamic Republic,” Amiry-Moghaddam said. “Sustainable peace and stability are impossible without upholding human rights.”
Iran this week executed two gay men convicted on charges of sodomy who had spent six years on death row. A total of 299 people were executed in 2021, including four juvenile offenders, a 26-percent increase on 2020.