At least 209 people have been executed this year in Iran, according to the United Nations. That amounts to ten people a week, reports Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The exact number is probably even higher, but it is difficult to determine because the authorities lack transparency. Another Iranian with a Swedish passport was executed on Saturday.
“Since the beginning of the year, more than 10 people have been executed on average every week in Iran, making Iran one of the countries with the highest number of executions worldwide,” Türk said. At least 580 people were executed in the country last year, and Iran appears to be on track for a similar number by 2023.
“This is a horrific record, especially as there is a growing consensus worldwide for the abolition of the death penalty,” Türk said. He calls on the Iranian authorities to suspend executions and work towards abolishing the death penalty.
The victims are mainly people convicted of drug offences, and it is striking that they include a disproportionate number of members of minorities.
On Monday, two more men were hanged on charges of blasphemy. The Iranian court accused the two men, Jusuf Mehrdad and Sadrollah Faseri Sare, of insulting Islam and the prophet in chat groups, among other things. The two also had contact with anti-religious networks.
On Saturday, the Iranian-Swedish dissident Habib Chaab was executed. He was sentenced to death for “terrorism”. Iran accused the man of leading an Arab separatist group in the country’s west.