Iran Focus: Iran has registered 471 executions for the year as the world marked the Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10. Nearly half of those executions, 231, have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani.
Iran has registered 471 executions for the year as the world marked the Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10. Nearly half of those executions, 231, have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani, whom some commentators have billed as a “moderate.” Ten of them were women. Three were minors at the time of committing their alleged crimes.
As if these statistics are not horrifying enough, reports about many more executions inside Iranian prisons are never publicized. Worse still, many of the victims face draconian punishments and torture only hours before being hanged. In the southern city of Bandar Abbas, a 28-year-old prisoner who had tried to commit suicide prior to his execution was nonetheless hanged with a wounded and blood-stained body. This shows that those who commit such arbitrary executions have no mercy and seek to send a message to the Iranian people. They hope that more violence and barbarity will breed fear among a population ready to rise up.
Significantly more executions are expected in Iran in the weeks and months ahead. According to some reports, in one prison alone – Ghezel Hesar – nearly 3,000 prisoners are currently on death row. Some sources claim that the regime carries out weekly mass executions at the prison in secret.
Some of the hangings are carried out in public, with photos distributed widely by state-affiliated media sources, in an appalling bid to terrorize the population and give the authorities a much-needed aura of power in the midst of growing popular dissent. This is in addition to other barbaric punishments: four example, six cases of hand-amputations in Shiraz, four stoning sentences, including two women in Tabriz, and even cases of gouging out eyes and cutting off the ears of a prisoner in Tehran.
As the Iranian regime tries to rid itself of sanctions by painting a smile on its face at the international stage through Rouhani, it continues to commit egregious human rights violations at home. One cannot help but think that the talk of “moderation” by Iranian leaders is an attempt to deceive the international community and get away with the slaughter of the Iranian people.
The world must not shut its eyes. The Iranian regime must be held to account for its crimes. Iran’s abhorrent rights record should be brought to the UN Security Council. Failure to do so will encourage other criminal governments to shed blood with impunity and further harm global peace and security.