More than 365 prisoners were executed in 2021 in Iran, raising concerns over the appalling human rights situation that has worsened since Ebrahim Raisi became president of the regime.
This number does not include prisoners who are secretly executed, and it is not possible to know their names and places of execution.
The actual number of executions in 2021 in Iran is much higher, as the regime carries out most executions in private.
No witnesses are present at the time of the execution but those who execute them.
At least 131 executions were carried out for drug offenses and 182 for murder. 16 women were among those executed. 12 political prisoners were executed in 2021.
Four victims of executions in 2021 in Iran were sentenced to death when they were minors.
Other executions have taken place for crimes such as sodomy, rape, etc., and the crimes and the identities of other executed prisoners are not known.
According to Amnesty International, Iran is the largest user of the death penalty in the region and the second in the world after China.
Political prisoners executed in 2021
The mullahs’ regime seeks to prevent the escalation of popular protests through its horrific executions.
A death and life sentence against two brothers for participating in the demonstrations of November 2019, indicates that the regime openly uses the death penalty as a tool of repression. Abbas and Mohsen Deris, both members of Iran’s Arab ethnic minority in Khuzestan province, were arrested during the violently suppressed protests in November 2019, which saw around 100 protesters killed in Khuzestan alone.
At least nine political prisoners were executed in Iran in 2021, with a shocking list of fair trial violations. They include:
Javid Dehghan, 31, a member of the Baloch ethnic minority, was hanged on January 30, 2021. In condemning him and sentencing him to death, the court relied on a tortured “confession” and ignored the serious due process violations committed by agents of the Revolutionary Guards. and prosecuting authorities during the investigative process.
Arab political activist Ali Motiri was executed on January 28, 2021 in Sheiban prison in Ahvaz, southwest Iran. He was arrested in 2018 and tortured for confessing to killing two Basij members.
Baluch political prisoners Hassan Dehvari and Elias Qalandarzehi were executed on January 3, 2021 in Zahedan prison. They were both brutally tortured and held in solitary confinement for 112 days after their arrest in April 2014. Their death sentences were based on confessions forced under torture.
Ethnically Arab political prisoners Jasem Heidary, Hossein Silawi, Ali Khasraji and Nasser Khafajian (Khafaji) were executed in Sepidar prison in Ahvaz, the capital of the Iranian province of Khuzestan, on February 28, 2021. After their execution, bruises were visible on the four men, indicating that they had been tortured or otherwise mistreated, and that their lips had not healed since they went on hunger strike.
Political prisoner Heidar Ghorbani, 48, was executed on December 19 in Sanandaj prison in northwest Iran. He was convicted of “armed rebellion against the state” (baghi), despite serious violations of the fair trial and the trial court confirming that he had never been armed. His conviction was based on a tortured “confession” obtained during his enforced disappearance.
Juvenile offenders executed in 2021
At least four prisoners who were children at the time of their arrest were executed in 2021 in apparent violation of international law.
Bahaoddin Ghasemzadeh, was executed on July 4, 2021 for a crime that took place when he was a minor and following a conviction on the basis of forced “confessions”, according to Amnesty International.
Ebrahim Shahbakhsh, 23, was executed on drug-related charges on August 24, 2021. He was under 18 at the time of his arrest.
Arman Abdolali, arrested for murder when he was only 17, was executed at dawn on November 24 in Rajai Shahr prison near Tehran. The 25-year-old was subjected to a “manifestly unfair trial marred by torture” confessions, according to Amnesty International.
Mohammad Tazekar was executed for murder at dawn on December 12, 2021 in Meshkinshahr prison. He would be under 18 at the time of the incident.
Women executed in 2021
Iran is the world’s number one executioner of women. On average, 15 women are executed in Iran each year. The Iranian regime executed at least 16 women in 2021.
Many women convicted of murder in Iran are themselves victims of violence against women and have committed murders in self-defense. Their trials and convictions are clearly unfair.
In a shocking case in February 2021, an Iranian woman who died of a heart attack while awaiting execution was still hanged. The woman, Zahra Ismaili, was forced to watch 16 men hanged in front of her while awaiting her turn at Rajai Shahr prison, west of the capital Tehran. She had been the victim of domestic violence and murdered her husband in self-defense.
Iran HRM once again calls on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Council and other human rights institutions to take urgent action to save the lives of Iranian prisoners sentenced to death. The Iranian regime’s record of human rights violations must be submitted to the UN Security Council. The leaders and officials of the mullahs’ regime in Iran must be brought to justice for four decades of crimes against humanity.