World Day Against the Death Penalty: Annual Report on Execution in Iran 2021-2022

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On the World Day against the Death Penalty, the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) has published its annual report in an effort to sensitize the public about the death penalty situation in Iran, particularly thousands of death-row convicts awaiting their looming executions.

HRA’s Statistics Center relies on the work of HRANA reporters, as well as a network of independent and verifiable sources. It also incorporates the judicial authorities’ announcements or confirmations of prisoner executions on media, and as such, is exposed to a margin of error representing efforts by the Iranian authorities to omit, conceal, or restrict the collection of such data.

Between October 10, 2021, and October 7, 2022, at least 528 convicts were executed by hanging in Iran, rising to 98% compared to the same period last year. Of these executions, one was carried out in public. Many of the defendants were denied a fair trial and due process.

Click here to download report in PDF format

HRANA obtained 439 reports regarding executions and death penalty in Iran during this period. The identified executed individuals, include 20 women and 6 juvenile offenders under the age of 18 at the time of alleged crime. Compared to the last period, the execution of female offenders has raised 55%.

According to the reports obtained by HRANA, over this period, Iranian authorities sentenced at least 89 defendants to death penalty, including at least 5 women, and 7 public executions.  Issuing death sentence decreased by 1% compared to the last year.

As the chart below shows a breakdown of executions by capital offense: 50.38% were charged with murder, 41.29% with drug and narcotic offenses, 3.03% with rape, 1.70% with non-political armed robbery/offenses classified as “corruption on earth,” and 0.38% with political or security-related offenses. Moreover, 0.38% were convicted of security charges (spying, terror, and bombing), 0.38% were convicted of armed robbery, and 2.46% of charges are unknown.

The pie chart below displays execution numbers by the province in which they took place. According to this chart, the Sistan and Baluchestan Province had the highest number of executions at 16%. Alborz (where three overcrowded prisons are located) and Fars Provinces come second and third, with 16.48% and 11.93%, respectively.

The chart below depicts the distribution of executions’ information sources. The chart indicates that 70% of HRANA-confirmed executions were not announced by the official Iranian sources. Undisclosed executions are referred to as “secret” executions.

 

The chart above shows the execution numbers by gender.

The pie chart below displays execution numbers by the prison where the executions were carried out. The Rajai-Shahr Prison officials have carried out the highest number of executions with 14.42%. Zahedan Prison ranks second with 12,33% executions.

The chart below displays percentage of executions carried out in public Vs. the number of executions that were carried out in prison. According to statistics, 0.19% of the executions in Iran were carried out in public.

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Click here to download the report in PDF format.

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

Inmate Still On Death Row After 27 Years Requests Execution

In Khorramabad Prison, an inmate on death row after being convicted for murder has been held for 27 years.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Etemad Newspaper, the inmate, identified as A. Mousavi, has been waiting at the crossroads of forgiveness and execution.

The following is from Mousavi himself: “I told the blood avenger (a member of the victim’s family) that I do not have any money to pay as a blood price, so I came here to let them hang me. [The family member] told me that he doesn’t want an execution; he needs money.”

Mousavi explains that the murder came from a conflict with a colleague: “In a quarrel about money, one of our business partners was killed. Four of us were sentenced to ten years and death and I was the second-row defendant in this criminal case.”

“15 years ago, the other three convicted inmates were freed by paying the blood money and appeasing the victim’s family. One paid 36 million [tomans] (8,568 USD), the other 4 million (952 USD) and the third one with 11 million tomans (2,618 USD). I did not have anyone to try to appease the family on my behalf. In 2016, they let me go to the door of the victims family to try. They asked me for 70 million (16,660 USD). Since I did not have any money, I stayed in prison. Last year, I asked again and this time they asked for 800 million (190,400 USD). The head of the prison could convince them to accept half of this amount. But I am still short of that amount. The price goes up every year with inflation… I am poor as a church mouse. I have nothing to pay and my execution is still on schedule. I told the blood avenger that I do not have any money to pay as a blood price, so let them hang me. He told me that he doesn’t want execution, he needs money. But I am exhausted. I can’t take this jail anymore,” he added.

Three Inmates Executed in Shiraz Central Prison and Dastgerd Prison

On December 19, two death row inmates previously convicted of drug-related crimes were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. In Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan, a female inmate was executed for committing murder.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ‏the Baloch Activists Campaign, Naeem She-Bakhsh and Abdolkhalegh Salar-Zehi, were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. They were natives of Kolahoor Village in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

Per a report by Iran Human Rights, a woman identified as Fatemeh Aslani was executed in the Dastgerd Prison of Isfahan. In the report, and informed source stated that “Nine years ago, Fatemeh Aslani was arrested allegedly for killing her husband for abetting one of her relatives with whom she secretly had affairs. She pleaded not guilty. Because the murderer had left the country, they executed her instead”.

The most recent report from the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2021 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Report on Recent Executions of Eight Inmates in Five Prisons

Eight inmates on death row for different criminal cases were executed in Amol, Gorgan, Rajai-Shahr, Meshgin, and Arabail prisons. 

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 45 year old Hashem Amiri was executed in Gorgan Prison on Sunday. In 2013, he committed murder during a house burglary.

According to another HRANA report, a female inmate who was convicted of killing her husband seven years ago was executed in Amol prison last Tuesday. “Since the prison guards refused to put the rope around her neck, she had to wait hours at the gallows until a prison officer from outside prison came and hung the woman”, an informed source told HRANA.

In Rajai Shahr Prison, located in Karaj City, ten inmates on death row were transferred to solitary confinement cells awaiting their executions. Four inmates were executed on December 15. HRANA has identified one of these executed inmates as Mahmood Mohmoodi. Iran Human Rights Organization has identified three others as Hamed Mousavi, Kurosh Mazaheri and Davoud (family name is unidentified). The six other inmates each could obtain a moratorium from the victim’s family.

According to the Iran Human Rights Organization, an inmate identified as Mohammad Tazehkar was executed in Meshgin Shahr Prison last Sunday. In 2017, he was convicted of killing his friend. It is likely that he was underage at the time of committing the crime.

The Iran Human Rights Organization also reports the execution of 40 year old Mohammad Khodai in Ardabil Prison. Five years ago, he was sentenced to death for murdering his wife.

None of the official sources and media outlets inside the country has reported these executions at the time of writing.

The most recent report from the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Two Inmates Executed in Isfahan and Neyshabur Prisons

On December 6, two inmates were executed in Neyshabur and Isfahan prisons.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Iran Human Rights Organization, 34 year old Ahmad Tavakoli was executed in Isfahan Prison. He had been convicted of drug-related crimes and imprisoned for four years.

On the same day, 24 year old Ali-Akbar Mohammadi was executed in Neyshabur Prison. He had been convicted of murder during a street fight.

In order to spare Mohammadi’s life by compensating the family of the victim, people in Shahroud City collected 4 billion tomans (951,820 USD), but this fell short of the 5 billion tomans (1,189,775 USD) requested by the family. Despite delivering the money to court, the execution was carried out after a month. The money has not yet been returned. 

As an inmate on death row, Mohammdi has spent five years in prison and has been sent to the foot of the gallows four times.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

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Two Inmates Executed in Mashhad and Kerman Prisons

Two inmates were recently executed in Mashhad and Kerman Prisons.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rasank News, in two separate cases, Emrahim Narooie and Heydar Gholjaie, both residents of Zahedan County, were executed in Mashhad and Kerman Prisons respectively. They had been sentenced to death on drug-related charges.

On Sunday, November 28,  Narooie was executed in Mashhad Prison. Gholjaie was executed in Kerman Prison on Thursday, November 25.

Reportedly, Heydar Gholjaie visited his family before his execution. In 2018, he was arrested at a checkpoint on the road connecting Bam City to Kerman for carrying drugs. Since then he had been jailed in Kerman Prison.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities have not publicly announced over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are dubbed as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Official sources and news outlets inside Iran have not reported on these executions as of this writing.

 

 

Three Inmates Executed in Rajai Shahr and Kerman Prisons

This week, in addition to juvenile offender Arman Abdolali, three inmates were executed in Rajai Shahr and Kerman Prisons.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA, an inmate who was previously convicted of murder was executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on Wednesday, November 24. At the same time, three other inmates, after being sent to the foot of the gallows, were able to obtain additional time from the “blood avengers” at the very last minute, and were sent back to their cells.

Reportedly, the executed man was personnel of a contracting company working for Tehran municipality. As part of his duty, he stopped a van driver, who was working as a scrap metal collector, to check his permit for this work. The verbal quarrel ends up in a fight between them. During the fight, the van driver was hit in the head, fainted and subsequently died from the fracture in his head in hospital.

According to the victim’s son, who witnessed the incident, the man hit his father’s head with brass knuckles led to his death. Despite recognizing the homicide as a semi-deliberate killing by the judge in the first trial, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict. In the second trial, he was sentenced to death and the verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court. He had been sent to the gallows the previous year, but was that time able to obtain some more time from the blood avengers before being executed.

In Kerman Prison, according to Rasank news, on Thursday, November 25, two inmates, who have been identified as Abdolsattar She-Baksh and Khan-Mohammad Rahman-Zehi, were executed. They have been charged with drug-related crimes. Both had been in jail for three years.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Juvenile Offender Arman Abdolali Executed in Rajai Shahr Prison

Earlier this Wednesday, November 24, juvenile offender Arman Abdolali was executed in Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Abdolali was relocated to a solitary confinement cell yesterday as a regular procedure before carrying out the execution, and then executed in the morning.

Judiciary Media Center announced that on Wednesday morning, Arman Abdolali, who was previously convicted of murdering his girlfriend at the age of 17, was executed in Rajai Shahr Prison.

Last night, in response to his relocation to a solitary confinement cell, Amnesty International asked Iranian authorities to halt the imminent execution. Amnesty International had also previously urged that the sentence be stopped and pointed out, “The use of the death penalty against people who were under 18 at the time the crime was committed is prohibited under international law and constitutes an abhorrent assault on child rights.”

In 2013, while he was underage, Abdolali was indicted on the charge of murdering his girlfriend, Ghazaleh Shakur. During interrogation, he confessed to killing her but later on, he denied the charges, claimed that the confession has been extracted under torture and pleaded his innocence. The victim’s body was never found.

After the first confirmation of the sentence, Abdolali’s lawyer claimed him as innocent and asked for a retrial, which was granted by the Supreme Court of Iran. In the second retrial, the death sentence was upheld after six months by the Supreme Court of Iran and thereafter by an appellate court.

Couple Executed in Yasuj Central Prison

On Tuesday, November 23, a couple was executed in Yasuj Central Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the man and woman had previously been sentenced to death after being charged with the murder of two people. HRANA has identified the executed man as Siavash Ardeshiri. The identity of the executed woman is still unknown as of this writing.

Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Yasuj Seyed Ali Malek-Hosseini commented on the verdict.

“On December 18, 2018, a man and his wife are arrested on the charge of murdering two people and subsequently were sentenced to death,” Malek-Hosseini stated. “This verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court. The convicted man claimed that his motivation for these homicides was to save his marriage relationship.”

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

 

 

Park Ranger Sentenced to Death for Murder of Illegal Hunter

The criminal court of Kermanshah Province recently sentenced a park ranger to death for the murder of an illegal hunter while he was poaching in the protected nature area Bisotun.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Javan Online, Branch 3 of the Criminal Court has issued this verdict. The report has identified the convicted park ranger as Boroomand Najafi.

In August 2020, during a fight between several forest rangers and several illegal hunters, one of the hunters was shot dead.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.