Iran executed more than 100 people between January and March: UN report

More than 300 people were executed in 2021 in Iran, according to the UN report. (Figurative)

Geneva:

Iran executed more than 100 people in the first three months of 2022, continuing a worrying upward trend, according to a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released Tuesday.

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN deputy director for human rights Nada Al-Nashif presented Guterres’ latest report on Iran, denouncing that executions in the country were on the rise.

“While 260 people were executed in 2020, at least 310 people were executed in 2021, including at least 14 women,” he said, adding that the trend had continued this year.

Between January 1 and March 20, he said, “at least 105 people were executed,” many of whom belonged to minority groups.

Guterres’ report had noted with deep concern the rise in executions for minor offences, including drug-related ones, Nashif said.

“The death penalty continues to be imposed on charges that do not constitute ‘the most serious offences’ and in a manner inconsistent with fair trial standards,” he told the council.

Nashif said that in March, 52 people sentenced to death on drug-related charges were transferred to Shiraz prison for execution.

It also deplored the continued use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders, in violation of international law.

– ‘Excessive use of force’ –

Between August 2021 and March 2022, at least two people who committed their alleged crimes as minors were executed and more than 85 juvenile offenders remain on death row, it said.

“In February 2022, in a positive development, the Supreme Court decided to overturn the death sentence against a child offender who had been on death row for 18 years,” Nashif added.

The deputy rights chief also denounced other rights abuses in Iran, especially in response to protests over a variety of major social, political and economic challenges over the past year.

“The excessive use of force constitutes the default response of the authorities to the management of assemblies,” he said.

“In April and May 2022, at least 55 people — teachers, lawyers, labor rights advocates, artists, and academics — were arrested during the protests, many facing national security charges.”

To date, no steps have been taken to establish responsibility for the violations committed during the nationwide protests in November 2019, it added.

Unnecessary deaths caused by excessive force inflicted by authorities against border couriers, peaceful protesters and detainees have continued with impunity, Nashif told the council.

“The scale of deaths in detention … is a cause for grave concern,” he said.

Mehdi Ali Abadi, Iran’s deputy permanent representative in Geneva, criticized the report, saying it was based on a malicious mandate imposed on the UN by Western countries to stigmatize Iran, insisting it was “biased by default.”

“Reducing the lofty code of human rights to a petty political tool is appalling and shameful,” he told the council.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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