On Friday, May 8, 2015, the United Nations condemned the high number of executions in Iran during the previous month, when at least 98 executions, officially documented, were carried out in one 18-day period by the regime.
According to information gathered by the UN’s human rights rapporteur for Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, and the organization’s rapporteur of arbitrary executions Christophe Heinz, 98 prisoners were documented as having been executed in the period between April 9th and 26th alone.
Regime media as always release only the numbers of prisoners executed, refusing to provide any names or other personal details, or particulars or evidence of the charges or crimes they’re accused of having committed. The regime also refuses to issue death certificates for executed prisoners and buries them in unmarked graves, often mass graves, in unknown locations, causing further anguish for their families who are thus prevented from even visiting their loved ones’ final resting place.
Shaheed said, “The Iranian government refuses even to acknowledge the number of the executions that took place, and this shows a complete contempt for human dignity and international human rights law.”
Heinz expressed his shock at the steep increase in the number of executions, adding that a large number of questions about the fairness of the trials remain unanswered.
Since the beginning of January 2015, 340 people were officially documented as having been executed in Iran, including six political prisoners and seven women, according to the United Nations.
Of these executions, at least 15 prisoners were publicly executed. The majority of those executed had been convicted of drug smuggling charges, often on questionable evidence, a charge which is rejected by the United Nations as a death penalty offence. In 2014, the United Nations recorded 753 executions in Iran compared to 680 in 2013.
It should be noted that between 2012 and 2014 at least 12 Ahwazi Arab political prisoners were executed in Iran after being sentenced to death on charges of ‘enmity with God’ and ‘corruption on earth’. The occupying authorities often force the Ahwazi Arab political prisoners to confess falsely to having links with Ahwazi political parties, extracting these confessions under prolonged torture.