A rights organization, as of Friday, revealed that the number of executions in Iran has surpassed 600 this year, the highest count in the past eight years, with two months remaining in 2023.
The Iran Human Rights (IHR) group, based in Norway, reported that a prison near Tehran saw nine executions in a day this week, with two individuals sentenced to death for adultery.
AFP, IHR, and various other sources have accused Iran of leveraging capital punishment to sow fear, following women-led protests that engulfed the nation for several months starting from September of the previous year.
‘The international community must react to more than 600 executions in 10 months — that’s two state murders a day,’ said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.
‘Silence is indirect consent to these crimes,’ he added, noted that Iran became chair of the UN Human Rights Council Social Forum earlier this week.
IHR’s count of 604 executions, as reported by AFP, has already surpassed the 2022 figure of 582, marking the highest count since 2015, when 972 executions were recorded.
After amendments in Iran’s criminal code, activists have expressed concern about the rising number of drug-related executions, which have increased in recent years despite prior declines.
The latest executions on Wednesday, as per IHR, involved nine men, including an Afghan national, who were hanged in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj, outside Tehran, with most facing murder charges.
IHR reported that a man and a woman, Leila Kholghi Sakachayi and Abolfazl Barat Vakili, were sentenced to death by a Tehran court in August for their involvement in adultery.
Although sex outside marriage is prohibited in Iran, the occurrence of death sentences for adultery has become relatively infrequent in recent years.
It was noted in the report that secret recordings, taken without the woman’s knowledge, were presented as evidence against both parties.
‘The international community shouldn’t tolerate executions being carried out for consensual sex… in the 21st century by a government that has a seat at the United Nations,’ said Amiry-Moghaddam.