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Iran. Executions on the rise ‘to instill fear in society’

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Executions are on the rise in Iran. In 2022, their number increased by as much as 75 percent, according to human rights organizations. In their opinion, the authorities in Tehran want to “instill fear” among protesters against the government.

The number of executions carried out in Iran in 2022 was the highest in seven years, according to a report published on April 13 by two organizations defending human rights: Norwegian Iran Human Rights (IHR) and French Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM). The document indicated that in 2022, Iran executed at least 582 people, an increase of 75 percent. compared to the previous year.

SEE ALSO: Iran. Human rights defenders: 55 people have been executed in Iran since the beginning of the year

Death penalty in Iran

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The report found that most of the executions – at least 544 – were of people accused of murder and drug offences, although it said there was no evidence of an increase in drug use or trafficking in the country. More than half of last year’s executions took place after anti-government protests broke out in September 2022.

The authors of the report claim that executions are a way of the rulers to intimidate those opposed to the government and discourage them from expressing their opposition. “The Iranian authorities have shown how crucial the death penalty is to instill fear in society in order to maintain power,” it said.

The organizations in their report recalled that the first person to be sentenced to death after the protests in 2022 was probably executed on December 8 Mohsen Shekari. He was convicted of “waging a war against God” after allegedly stabbing an officer of the paramilitary Basij. Less than a week later Majidreza Rahnaward was sentenced to deathwho allegedly killed two members of the same formation and wounded four other officers.

SEE ALSO: Report: Iran tortures detained children. They are beaten, raped and humiliated

Protests in Iran

In September 2022, Iran exploded mass protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested by the morality police. After being detained for “inappropriate headgear”, the woman mysteriously fell into a coma and died in hospital. “The Iranian armed forces responded to the demonstrations with brutality, mass arrests and accelerated and sham trials,” CNN reminds.

Main photo source: PAP/Abaca

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