Iran Killing More than Two People Per Day

Group: At least 320 executions in 2014

A man is prepared to be hanged in Iran / AP
June 4, 2014

Executions in Iran continue to soar to record-breaking levels in 2014, as more than two people are being killed every day and some 320 executions have taken place in the first five months of 2014 alone, according to human rights observers.

Iran is on track to eclipse the number of executions committed in 2013, when they killed around 687 prisoners, including political dissidents and others charged with minor crimes, according to the group Iran Human Rights (IHR), which tracks human rights atrocities in Iran.

Iran hanged a prominent political dissident early Sunday for refusing to renounce his ties to an Iranian opposition group, and hanged another inmate earlier this week, bringing the average to "more than two executions everyday," according to an IHR tally of both publicized and secret executions in Iran.

With the number of executions growing each week, human rights advocates have expressed horror at the lack of attention brought to these issues by the international community and Obama administration, which continues to negotiate with Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

"Iranian authorities have once again broken their own records with regards to the extensive use of the death penalty," IHR spokesman Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

"The United Nations and the international community must take serious measures to stop the unprecedented wave of the executions in Iran," said Amiry-Moghaddam, who further urged Western nations to quit remaining silent about the Iranian execution rate.

IHR has determined that Iranian authorities reported at least 147 executions from Jan. 1 to June of this year. It also found that another 180 or more unreported executions have taken place in this time period.

While Iran does not publicly report every execution, IHR and others believe that at least 320 executions have been carried out, despite a three-week halt in all executions that took place in March after the United Nations and others expressed concern about the matter.

Over the weekend, Iranian authorities shocked opposition members by hanging 49-year-old Gholamreza Khosravi, who had been imprisoned six years ago for donating money to a satellite television station affiliated with the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI), an opposition group that seeks to overthrow the ruling regime.

The Obama administration has remained largely silent about these killings and has not been known to broach the subject in talks with Iranian negotiators, prompting criticism from opposition leaders.

"The international community, and in particular the Obama administration, must end their inexcusable silence vis-à-vis the egregious rights abuses in Iran, which have dramatically increased since the so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani became president," Ali Safavi, the U.S. spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a PMOI affiliate, told the Washington Free Beacon on Sunday.

Published under: Human Rights , Iran