Joint intervention at the UN Human Rights Council on the alarming use of the death penalty in Iran
9 March 2021
Iran is one of the world's biggest executioners. In 2020, over 230 executions were reported. An estimated 3,000 people on death row, including 85 minors, are currently held in Iranian prisons.
On the occasion of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council, Taimoor Aliassi, on behalf of ECPM and Kurdistan Human Rights-Geneva, Iran Human Rights and Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, alerts the Council to the alarming use of the death penalty in Iran. By recorded message, as required by health precautions, we call on the Iranian authorities to :
- Immediately end the campaign of arbitrary arrests of Kurdish and Baluchi citizens and release all those arbitrarily detained;
- reform the judicial system
- establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.
In Iran, the number of crimes punishable by death is one of the highest in the world and, as the Special Rapporteur points out in his report, most of them do not reach the threshold of "most serious crimes". In the country with a very high rate of executions of women, crimes committed by minors and homosexuality are punishable by death.
The death penalty is used as a tool of political repression, particularly against minorities, members of the Kurdish, Baluchi and Ahwazi ethnic groups. The use of the death penalty is increasingly targeting political opponents, human rights defenders, lawyers and intellectuals.
Similarly, the international community and human rights organisations have repeatedly called on the Iranian state to put an end to secret executions, the use of unfair trials and death sentences resulting from the systematic use of torture to extract confessions.