Drugs and political terror linked to Iran death penalty

5 avril 2013

For the second year in a row, Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM) and Iran Human Rights (IHR) have published an alarming report on the death penalty situation in Iran.

As the June 2013 presidential election is looming, ECPM and IHR call for increased vigilance and a strong mobilization of activists of the Iranian diaspora for the World Congress against the Death Penalty, which will be held in Madrid between June 12-15 this year.

Khamenei's theocratic regime is subjected to an economic embargo and strong political pressure from the international community, and it must face the continuing deterioration of the iranian population’s living conditions.

In line with the 2009 post-election protests and the regional context of the Arab Spring, the Iranian authorities may be confronted with renewed popular protests as the election dates come closer. This situation could exarcebate the politics of fear pursued by the security apparatus, who use the death penalty as a means of intimidation and political repression.

At least 580 people were executed in Iran in 2012. Since the last presidential election, the number of public executions has been increasing: 60 cases have been reported in 2012, which is more than six times higher than in 2009. Our report also highlights the increase in secret executions (286 unofficial executions in 2012) practiced in at least fifteen Iranian prisons, and emphasizes the fact that the death penalty is used against members of minority groups in Iran in particular. You can download the full report in English, French and Farsi.

Three out of four executions for drug-related offenses

Convictions for drug-related offenses have accounted for the majority of executions (76%). In view of the upcoming World Congress, ECPM and IHR are launching a petition calling for the European Union to require its member states to impose, as a condition of their contribution to the international fight against drug trafficking in Iran, the transparency of judicial procedures and the establishment of a moratorium on death sentences related to drug trafficking. Join us to fund fair trials in Iran, not executions! (Find the petition on our website from April 8).
The report is the result of efforts by human rights defenders and affiliates of Iran Human Rights in Iran, which in some cases have taken serious risks to provide accurate facts on the judicial reality of the death penalty in this country, as opposed to the information broadcast through official channels. On the basis of reliable information, it exposes and denounces the daily reality of the Iranian people. ECPM and IHR will present the report to several Iranian and French human rights’ associations on Thursday, April 4, 2013 in Paris, as well as to the Iranian delegation and to the Subcommittee on human rights in the European Parliament on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

Nicolas Braye
Officer for Middle East and North Africa