Alarming Execution Figures in Iran Shine Light on the Scale of Violations

The numbers indicate that Iran executed at least 834 individuals in 2023, an increase of 43% compared to 2022

Several countries at the United Nations on Monday condemned the scale of human rights violations in Iran, specifically noting the rise in the number of death sentences and their executions, while some countries including Russia, Cuba, and China supported Tehran during discussions at the Human Rights Council.

International condemnation of the scale of human rights violations in Iran once again highlights the ongoing repression suffered by Iranians, intensified since the popular protests following the killing of the Iranian Kurdish girl, Mahsa Amini, after being tortured by morality police, marking the worst uprising the Iranian regime has faced.

Human rights organizations have accused Iranian authorities of conducting trials lacking transparency, depriving defendants of their most basic rights, while Iran has carried out dozens of death sentences on charges the opposition alleges are motivated by revenge to intimidate the people and silence critics of the regime.

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Javaid Rahman, said at the opening of discussions, “I remain deeply concerned about ongoing executions and the significant increase in the number of death sentences. At least 834 individuals were executed in 2023, an increase of 43% compared to 2022.” Several countries expressed similar concerns, calling on Iran to suspend the execution of death sentences.

French Ambassador Jérôme Bonafon expressed “France’s deep concern about the alarming increase in the number of death sentences and their execution in Iran,” noting that “16 out of 24 women executed worldwide in 2022 were executed in Iran, and at least 22 women were executed in 2023, the highest figure since 2013.”

US Ambassador Michelle Taylor said, “Many detainees have reported that authorities used torture, sexual violence, and gender-based violence to extract confessions that formed the basis for death sentences.”

She added that “Iran continues to intimidate, mistreat, and imprison human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, religious minorities, cultural figures, and political opponents,” a sentiment echoed by several missions including the European Union, the United Kingdom, Nordic countries, Baltic countries, and some Latin American countries such as Argentina.

Several countries condemned human rights violations in Iran, but the statement by the US ambassador prompted a response from the Iranian delegate, who interrupted to request adherence to procedures.

Iranian delegate Samira Karimdoost said, “We are deeply concerned about the hostile and provocative language used by the US mission,” noting in response to the rapporteur’s comments that “his report is neither realistic nor professional, but even less accurate and balanced.”

Russia, Belarus, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Syria expressed their support for Iran, while China said its country “appreciates the recent efforts made by the Iranian government to strengthen and protect human rights.”

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