Inside Iran: Rising executions highlight Iran’s human rights record

Iranian officials and security escorting away the blindfolded man Bilal from the scene of his execution in public in the northern city of Nour, Iran. (File: AP)

Earlier this year, the United Nations described the numbers of executions in Iran as “deeply troubling,” with more than 320 people put to death this year alone.

In 2014, Iran executed 721 people, according to the U.S.-based Iran Human Rights Documentation center.

Despite promises of reforming Iran’s human rights record, President Hassan Rowhani’s two years in office have witnessed a record-breaking number of executions with more than 1,700 people killed since 2013.

Murder, drug trafficking, and robbery are all punishable by death in the Islamic Republic. But capital punishment has also been used to quell dissent against Tehran, Al Arabiya reported.

A report from the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the U.N. Human Rights Council said Iran had not kept Rowhani’s promise to “extend protection to all religious groups and to amend legislation that discriminates against minority groups.”

“The above-mentioned commitments have not ... been translated into results,” the report said.

“Individuals seeking greater recognition for their cultural and linguistic rights risk facing harsh penalties, including capital punishment.”

In 2014, an Arab-Iranian poet was executed along with a colleague for allegedly having links to a separatist movement, the Guardian reported.

Thirty-two year old Hashem Shaabani was a prominent member of a banned cultural organization run by the Arab Ahvazi minority in south of Iran.

He was arrested with four other men and sentenced to death following a trial that the Guardian reports was described as grossly unfair.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:55 - GMT 10:55