IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MARCH 2018): The 10th annual report on the death penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) shows that in 2017 at least 517 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. With an average of more than one execution every day and more than one execution per 167.000 inhabitants in 2017, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
In 2017, the Iranian authorities executed 31 people in public spaces. These executions were conducted by hanging and scheduled executions were often announced in advance in order to attract public attention.
In 2008, a judicial moratorium on public executions was adopted by the Iranian authorities. However, since then, and despite continuous international criticism, many public executions have been organized by the authorities.
Public executions have repeatedly been criticized by the UN. Both the UN Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran have expressed concern about the continued practice of public executions in Iran. In his 2017 report to the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General stated that “the Secretary-General remains resolutely opposed to the dehumanizing, cruel, inhuman and degrading practice of public executions”. During Iran’s second UPR, the Government did not accept the recommendations to abolish public executions.
In 2017, the Iranian authorities executed 31 people in public spaces. These executions were conducted by hanging and scheduled executions were often announced in advance in order to attract public attention. In Iran, a section of society, civil society and Iranian experts strongly condemn these public executions and there is an ongoing debate.
A prisoner was hanged publicly on August 1, 2017. An estimated 5,000 people witnessed the execution in the Iranian northern city of Jouybar. Photo: Jouybaran website
A prisoner was hanged in public in the city of Arak, Markazi province, on April 13, 2017. With a noose around his neck, the prisoner is slowly pulled up by a crane. It takes several minutes until he dies. Photo: JamNews.
In the following sections, we present the statistics, geographic distributions and official charges of those executed publicly. We also include some of the pictures published by the State-controlled Iranian media showing public executions in front of children.
Public Executions Since 2008
Geographic Distribution of Public Executions
Public executions were conducted in 15 different provinces in 2017. Fars province (Southern Iran) which had topped the public executions in the past six years, showed the largest decrease compared to previous years.
Official charges for public executions:
The majority of those executed in public were convicted of murder and were sentenced to qisas (retribution in kind), followed by rape or sexual assault and Moharebeh (waging war against God).