Execution rate accelerates in Iran under Rouhani

The five main reasons for death sentences in Iran are heresy, homosexuality, rape, murder and armed struggle.

December 8, 2014 17:03
1 minute read.
Iranian Judiciary officials prepare to hang convicted murderer Hashem

Iranian Judiciary officials prepare to hang convicted murderer Hashem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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According to a recent report by UN envoy for human rights in Iran Ahmad Shahid, the Islamic Republic has the highest execution rate in the Middle East, and in the world it is second only to China. 

The rate of capital punishment in Iran is four times higher than in Saudi Arabia. There are five main reasons for punishment by death in Iran: heresy, homosexuality, rape, murder and armed struggle. Almost all of executions are performed secretly. 
Mouhammad Javad Larijani, the head of the judicial system said that "most of the accused are being sentenced for drug trafficking," but he stressed repeatedly that "no one is being executed without a fair trial and clear evidence." 

Larijani described the situation as "sad." He also vowed to change sections in criminal law in the Iranian parliament, which would bring the "decline of executions by 80 percent."

The rise in the number of trials and death sentences during the rule of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, runs counter to the expectations of improved human rights in Iran following the rule of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The number of death trials have risen by 16% in comparison with last year of Ahmadinejad's presidency, which is the highest in 15 years. 

An Iranian official described this report as "an unuseful attempt to harm stability." Iranian media is strictly censored with regard to human rights in the country.     

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