Iran Executes at least 36 in August
In response to the execution of 12 people on August 27 for alleged drug offenses, and 24 Kurdish prisoners earlier in the month despite a lack of due process, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Iran’s staggering number of executions, including for crimes that do not meet ‘most serious crimes’ under international law, should be the focus of a UN Human Rights Council inquiry," said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa programs. “For far too long, Iranian courts have taken the lives of its citizens through veiled procedures that violate the right to life in contravention of international and domestic law.”
Iran has been the world’s highest per capita executioner for a decade. The Iranian government is one of the few that continues to execute youth under the age of 18, and political prisoners. The government claims that it is executing drug traffickers as a deterrent, though defendants are regularly denied fair trial and the right to appeal. Iran carries out executions without due safeguards, and without accountability or transparency, signaling that executions are being used as a means to deter political dissent. Since 2006, human rights groups have documented at least 5,000 executions, although the actual number of individuals put to death may be higher.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.