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Iran’s Escalating Executions: Nine Hanged In One Day For Drug Charges


On Sunday, the death sentences of 9 prisoners convicted of drug-related charges were carried out in Iran in three different prisons, bringing the total to nearly 900 hangings in the past 12 months.

In the southeastern region of Iran, at Kerman Central Prison notorious for its numerous human rights violations, 5 Baluch prisoners and one Kurdish prisoner were executed.

Iran has escalated executions in recent months amid a worsening economic crisis, and following nationwide anti-government protests in 2022-2023.

This comes in the wake of Amnesty International’s recent report, which disclosed that Iran conducted at least 853 executions in the past year, marking the highest figure in eight years. More than half of these executions were linked to drug-related offenses.

Among them were Ahmadreza Miri, 34, from Zabol, Shamsuldin Kashani, 53, and Shokat Shahbakhsh, both hailing from Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province. Miri and Kashani were apprehended for drug-related offenses at the entrance of Kerman city in 2021 and subsequently sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Kerman, Haalvsh reported. According to sources close to Miri as reported by Haalvsh, he vehemently denied the drug transportation charges in court, maintaining that he was solely the bus driver where the drugs were discovered.

Additionally, an unidentified Baluch prisoner was simultaneously executed alongside these individuals on Sunday. Furthermore, Jamal Mardani, 54, from Miandoab, West Azarbaijan province, was also executed in the same prison, according to reports from Haalvsh and Hengaw. The 6 prisoners had their final family visitation on Saturday and were transferred to solitary confinement in anticipation of their executions.

Meanwhile, in Chabahar prison, located in Sistan and Baluchestan province, two inmates, Saeed Jadgal and Mohammad Anjomrooz, both in their thirties and married with children, were executed. They were arrested approximately six years ago on drug-related charges and sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Kerman, according to sources cited by Haalvsh.

In the northwest of Tehran, in Karaj at Ghezel Hesar Prison, the largest state prison in Iran, two inmates, Alireza Shahbaz, 38, from Tehran, and Abdolbari Pashto from Afghanistan, were executed. According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRNA) both inmates were executed for drug-related offenses and both individuals were married with children. They were transferred to solitary confinement on Saturday prior to their executions in the early hours of Sunday.

Notably, the Iranian authorities have not officially announced the execution of these nine prisoners, and state-affiliated media have remained silent on the matter.

In April, over 80 human rights organizations called for joint action to end drug-related executions in Iran and urged the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to demand a cessation of drug-related executions from the Iranian authorities as a condition of UNODC’s cooperation with the Iranian government. In their statement, the coalition highlighted that prisoners charged with drug offenses are sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Courts in Iran based on “torture-tainted confessions, without due process and fair trial rights and often without access to a lawyer.”.