Iranian authorities carried out the execution of five individuals on Monday for their involvement in “armed drug smuggling” in the southern region of the country, according to reports from the judiciary.
The convicts, described as “criminals and armed drug smugglers,” had been sentenced to death by hanging, a verdict upheld by Iran’s highest court, stated Mojtaba Ghahramani, the Chief Justice of Hormozgan province. The executions took place in Bandar Abbas and Minab prisons in Hormozgan, as confirmed by Ghahramani.
These recent hangings bring the total number of individuals executed for drug smuggling to eight in less than a week.
Last Wednesday, the judiciary executed three individuals convicted of being members of a drug cartel, prompting concerns from the United Nations about the alarmingly high number of executions in the country.
Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have reported that Iran carries out more executions per year than any other nation except China.
On Monday, Iran also executed two people who were convicted of desecrating the Quran and insulting the Prophet Mohammad, a rare conviction that drew condemnation from the United States and sparked outrage among human rights organizations.
UN rights chief Volker Turk expressed deep concern about Iran’s “abominable” track record this year, highlighting an average of more than 10 executions per week.
More than 210 individuals have already been executed in Iran this year, with the majority of cases related to drug-related offenses. However, a statement from the United Nations suggests that the actual number is likely much higher.
A joint report by Iran Human Rights (IHR) based in Norway and Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) based in Paris revealed that the country witnessed a 75 percent increase in executions in 2022 compared to the previous year. In 2021, at least 582 people were executed in Iran, marking the highest number of executions since 2015 and significantly surpassing the 333 recorded in 2021, as stated by the two rights groups.
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