Wave of Mass Executions Sweeps Prisons in Northeast Iran

HRANA, the news agency of the Human Rights Activists, has received several reports in the last two weeks regarding mass executions in prisons in the north of the country, including Taybad, Torbat-e Jam, and Mashhad prisons.

According to received reports, the executed prisoners were mostly foreign nationals with drug-related charges.Today, Thursday, September 23, nine prisoners were transferred for the execution of the death sentence in Torbat-e Jam prison, of which, eight were executed. The identity of one of them, 22 years old Mohammad Sadeghi, has been verified by HRANA.

Last week, at least seven prisoners were executed in Mashhad prison. Two of the executed men had family ties with Mohammad Sadeghi. Also, at least five have been executed in Taybad prison in recent days, according to reports received by HRANA. Because many of the executed are foreign nationals, information is difficult to obtain about their identities. The identities of these individuals are still being investigated by HRANA.

Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

The execution of these prisoners has not been announced by the Iranian media or official sources as of this writing, nor authorities have provided transparent information.

Death Sentence and Lashes Issued to Defendants in Tehran

A defendant in Tehran was recently sentenced, in absentia, to death after being charged with murder.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the case’s other defendants were sentenced to other punishments, including prison time and lashes.

According to this report, a man named Reza, who is not currently in Iran, was sentenced to death in absentia for committing murder and to 10 years in prison and 74 lashes for other crimes he committed.

The second person who was involved in the conflict was sentenced to pay a ransom, a fine to the government, and 55 months in prison and lashes for injuring the victim’s father.

A third person was sentenced to 20 months in prison and lashes for disturbing public order and committing other crimes, and the other individuals involved in the bloody conflict were sentenced to one year in prison and 74 lashes for disturbing public order.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Iran is one of the few countries that has continued to use humiliating punishments despite the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights explicit prohibition of the use of inhumane and degrading punishments, including the death penalty and flogging.

At Least one Prisoner Transferred to Solitary Confinement in Urmia Prison for Execution Preparation

This morning, Wednesday, August 4, at least one prisoner sentenced to death was transferred to solitary confinement in Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the prisoner was previously sentenced to death on drug-related charges.

The identity of this prisoner has been verified by HRANA as Ebrahim Nasrikhah.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Two Prisoners Executed in Urmia Prison Before Supreme Court Reaches Verdict on Their Appeal

On Saturday, July 3, Nasser Azmoudeh and Shahriar Amiri were executed in Urmia Prison, even though the Supreme Court has not yet reached a verdict on their appeal.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the two prisoners had previously been sentenced to death on drug-related charges.

Azmoudeh and Amiri, who had been kept in Urmia Prison since 2018, were transferred to solitary confinement the day before the execution took place.

The lack of a fair and transparent trial process in the Iranian judiciary, especially in cases that lead to irreversible sentences such as the death penalty, has long been criticized by human rights organizations. Just this week, the death sentence of a prisoner who was executed 10 months ago was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1st and December 20th of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

According to the report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary. Human rights organizations call these “secret executions”.

The executions of Azmoudeh and Amiri have not been announced by Iranian media or official sources as of this writing.

6 Prisoners Executed in Birjand Prison in the South Khorasan Province 

On May 25, six prisoners were executed in Birjand prison in South Khorasan.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting RASANK news, all six had been previously arrested on drug-related charges. The report has identified the six as Javad Nakhaei, Mohammad Reza Harati, Reza Azarian, Ruhollah Rigi, and Alireza Farsi, all from Zabol, and Reza As’adi from Mashhad.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per-capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) reported that between January 1st and  December 20th of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed. One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

According to the report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary. Human rights organizations call these “secret executions.”

At the time of this writing, their execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

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Two Prisoners Executed in Birjand in South Khorasan Province

Yesterday, two prisoners were executed in Birjand Prison in the South Khorasan province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the Baloch Activists Campaign, the two citizens have been identified as Younes Totazehi from Chah-e Rahman rural district close to Zahedan city and Abdullah Totazehi son of Sohrab, from Zahedan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

Younes and Abdullah Totazehi were arrested in 2019 and sentenced to death on drug related charges.

According to international organizations, considering its population, Iran ranks first in the world in the execution of its citizens. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) reported that between January 1st and  December 20th of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed. One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death.

More than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary. Human rights organizations call these “secret executions.”

As of this writing, the execution of  the two prisoners has not been announced by any Iranian media or official sources.

Ardabil Prisoner Hanged to Death

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Twenty-seven-year-old Meysam Saber, a prisoner in the Health Ward of Ardabil Prison, was executed in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 21, 2018.

Saber had been detained on murder charges since 2013. He was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on the eve of his execution.

Saber was the subject of a HRANA report on prisoner abuse last year when he was chained to the bars of the Quarantine Ward for 24 straight hours for complaining about mistreatment by prison guards.

By carrying out Saber’s hanging in silence, authorities — particularly the Judiciary — demonstrate a continued pattern of obfuscation on the topic of prisoner sentencing and executions, in spite of their responsibilities of informing the public.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. On the World Day against the Death Penalty (October 10th), the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) published its annual report, indicating that at least 256 citizens were executed in Iran between October 10, 2017, and October 9, 2018, 15 of which were public hangings. Sixty-eight percent of executions, referred to as “secret executions,” are not announced by the state or Judiciary.

World Day Against the Death Penalty: Iran Annual Report Oct ’17 – Oct ’18

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On the World Day Against the Death Penalty, the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) has published its annual report, in efforts to sensitize the public about the situation of the death penalty in Iran.

HRANA’s Statistics Center relies on the work of HRANA reporters, as well as a network of independent and verifiable sources. It also incorporates disclosures to the media by judicial authorities announcing or confirming prisoner executions, 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, 2017, and October 9, 2018, the death penalty and executions have been the focus of 287 HRANA reports. Over this time period, the Iranian authorities issued the death penalty sentence to 240 individuals and have already carried out 256 executions; [that’s one hanging every 34 hours for a population about twice the size of California’s]. Six percent of the executions in Iran were carried out in public.

Females account for only three of the 256 HRANA-confirmed execution victims this year.

Five were under the age of 18 when they allegedly committed the crime they were charged with.

While execution numbers went down by 50% in comparison to the same time last year, Iranian courts have issued 7.4% more death sentences.

Public hangings and executions of women have gone down 54% and 50%, respectively.

The report includes a breakdown of executions by capital offense:

Drug and narcotic offenses: 6%
Murder: 72%
Rape: 9%
Political or security-related offenses: 7%
Armed robbery/offenses classified as “corruption on earth”: 6%

The chart below displays execution numbers by the province in which they took place.

Below is a distribution of execution information sources. The chart indicates that 68% of HRANA-confirmed executions were not announced by official Iranian sources. Undisclosed executions are referred to as “secret” executions.

At Least 3 Prisoners Hanged to Death in Rajai Shahr Prison of Karaj

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- Early in the morning of October 3, 2018, at least three prisoners were hanged to death while seven others were granted temporary reprieve.

HRANA has confirmed the identities of those executed as Yasser Eslami and Mahmoud Akbari of Ward 1 and Omid Khosronejad of Ward 10. Eslami and Khosronejad, co-defendants in a murder case, spent four years in prison prior to their executions yesterday.

Mehdi Danesh from Ward 1 and Siroos Khodabandehlou from Ward 6 were among the seven prisoners whose execution was stayed.

HRANA previously reported on a mass transfer of prisoners to solitary confinement, the protocol for prisoners whose execution is imminent. All ten of the above prisoners were transferred to solitary cells on Sunday, September 30th.

By carrying out these hangings in silence, authorities — particularly the judiciary — demonstrate a continued pattern of obfuscation on the topic of prisoner sentencing and executions, in spite of their responsibilities of informing the public.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. An annual report published by the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) states that more than 60% of executions in Iran are not reported by the state or the Judiciary. These executions are referred to as “secret executions.”

According to registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of HRAI, in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018) at least 322 citizens were executed and 236 others were sentenced to death in Iran. Among these were the executions of four juvenile offenders and 23 public hangings.

Birjand Prison Executes Four Afghan Nationals

Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – Six years ago, four Afghan nationals planned to use underground channels to migrate to Iran, where they had invested hopes of a better life. In the early morning hours of October 2, 2018, they were executed on charges of “armed drug trafficking,” a charge to which they reportedly confessed under the duress of torture.

Shah Mohammad Miran Zehi, Ahmad Shah Issa Zehi, Mohammad Miran Zehi, and Eid Mohammad Miran Zehi were married with children and had been in Birjand Central Prison for over six years.

In an open letter, the prisoners explained the circumstances in which they were detained and coerced to utter false confessions. Mohammad Miran Zehi wrote that they had filed into a Toyota set to take them to Birjand from Zabul when they got into a dispute with their driver near the village of Bandan [a tributary of Nahbandan on the Afghanistan-Southern Khorasan border]. Claiming he needed gas, he reportedly dropped the group off at a private residence and said he would be back.

“When [the driver] returned, he was flanked by authorities. They struck me in the head and took us to the Bandan police station. They subjected us to the cruelest forms of torture in there,” Mohammad Miran Zehi said.

Accusing them of transporting more than 300 pounds of opium and two Kalashnikov rifles, Bandar authorities used violence to press them to confess, going as far as pulling a toenail from Mohammad’s right foot.

The case file against the four was set into motion when they finally acceded to the torturers’ demands, “under the pressure, the fear for our lives, the inability to take it any longer, and hoping that maybe it would make them stop,” their letter explained.

The case file was then forwarded to judicial authorities and spent five years in suspense before Judges Nabavi and Seyfzadeh of Birjand Revolutionary Court Branch 2 issued the execution sentence on January 31, 2017. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Shah Mohammad Miran Zehi, Ahmad Shah Issa Zehi, Mohammad Miran Zehi, and Eid Mohammad Miran Zehi; the death sentence of Saraj Gavkhur, a fifth defendant on the same case file, was commuted to 25 years’ imprisonment.

According to a close source, the group was made scapegoats for an armed conflict that had taken the life of a security agent days before their entry into Iran.

Birjand Central Prison is in the city of Birjand, capital of Southern Khorasan Province.

According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. An annual report published by the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) states that more than 60% of executions in Iran are not reported by the state or the Judiciary. These executions are referred to as “secret executions.”

According to registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of HRAI, in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018) at least 322 citizens were executed and 236 others were sentenced to death in Iran. Among these were the executions of four juvenile offenders and 23 public hangings.