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UN Chief Concerned Over Number Of Executions In Iran: Report

20.06.2024 13:57

834 individuals executed in Iran in 2023, in 43% increase from previous year, report by Antonio Guterres says.

The UN's top official is concerned by the number of executions in Iran, which rose by over 40% over the course of a year in 2023, according to a report presented Thursday to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"According to information received, at least 834 individuals were executed in 2023, representing a 43% increase from the previous year," said Nada Al-Nashif, deputy high commissioner for human rights, as she presented Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' report on human rights in Iran.

"Especially troubling is the 84% increase in executions for drug-related offenses in 2023, the highest figure in nearly a decade," she added.

Minorities continued to be disproportionately affected by executions, with 20% of all executions in 2023 involving members of the ethnic Baluch community.

"While noting an overall decline in the sentencing of children to death since 2014, the report deplores the execution of two child offenders in 2023," said Al-Nashif.

The report urges Tehran to introduce an immediate moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition and prohibit the execution of all offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged crime.

'Torture-tainted confessions'

"It is deeply regrettable that during the reporting period, two men were executed in relation to the September 2022 nationwide protests, bringing the total of those to nine," said Al-Nashif.

She added that "serious allegations of torture-tainted confessions and due process violations have permeated these cases."

The report said journalists and writers were targets over their work, and that in 2023, at least 49 writers were imprisoned.

"Artists have also been targeted for exercising their freedom of opinion and expression, including artist Toomaj Salehi, later convicted and sentenced for 'corruption on earth' which carries the death penalty, over views he expressed in the context of nationwide protests in 2022," said Al-Nashif.

The report also describes an environment of intimidation, coercion, and repression against lawyers challenging judicial proceedings, human rights defenders, and the families of protest victims.

"The report expresses continued concern in relation to the Bill to Support the Family by Promoting the Culture of Chastity and Hijab (Chastity and Hijab Bill), which seeks to reinforce mandatory public hijab requirements for women and girls and introduces severe penalties for non-compliance."

"Despite advances achieved by and for women and girls in Iran, in particular in the education sector and towards ensuring participation in the political and public life, women continue to face ongoing, significant barriers to political representation, as apparent in the March 2024 parliamentary elections," the report said. -

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