Iran executed more than 250 people, including at least 4 children, in 2020 and has carried out so far this year 230 executions, including 9 women and children who were executed in secret, according to the report of the independent UN investigator on human rights in Iran.
The UN Rapporteur on human rights, Javed Rehman, stressed before the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, that Iran continues to implement the death penalty “at alarming rates. The lack of official statistics and the lack of transparency around executions means that this practice is carried out without eyes, which leads to Serious violations prevent accountability.
According to Amnesty International, Iran was the country that carried out the most executions in the Middle East last year, accounting for more than half of the 493 executions in the region.
Amnesty’s annual statistics exclude China, where it classifies executions in the thousands as a state secret, and omit executions in some conflict-ridden countries such as Syria.
Rehman said his latest report highlights serious concerns about the grounds on which Iran is using the death penalty, citing “vague national security charges”, and said Iran also has “deeply flawed judicial procedures, where even the most basic of safeguards are lacking.”
“These elements, and the courts’ heavy reliance on forced confessions extracted under torture and other fair trial violations, lead me to the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty in Iran constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of life,” Rehman explained.
Rahman, a Pakistani-born professor of human rights and Islamic law at Brunel University in London, stressed the “necessity” of Iran to amend its criminal law and justice system, and to begin “urgently” a moratorium on the death penalty against children. Other than the executions, he said, the overall human rights situation in Iran “remains grim.”
The Iranian Human Rights Organization had counted at least 64 adolescents executed in Iran during the past ten years, at least 4 of them in 2020.