The Islamic Republic of Iran increased its execution rate by 75% in 2022 compared to 2021 with a view toward spreading fear among a restive Iranian population that has staged protests against Tehran's rulers, according to a new report by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and France's Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM).
The report noted that “At least 582 people were executed, an increase of 75% compared to 2021. In 2022, Iran’s authorities demonstrated how crucial the death penalty is to instill societal fear in order to hold onto power. Weeks into the nationwide ‘Woman-Life-Freedom’ protests, triggered by the state killing of Jina (Mahsa) Amini on 16 September 2022,6 hundreds of protesters were facing show trials at the Revolutionary Courts, many with charges punishable by death.”
According to the report, two protesters were executed in December 2022. At the time of publishing this report, four protesters have been executed, more than 100 protesters remain at risk of death penalty charges, sentences and execution and at least 20 others have been sentenced to execution.”
“The international reactions to the death sentences against protesters have made it difficult for the Islamic Republic to proceed with their executions," said Iran Human Rights Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam. "To compensate, and in order to spread fear among people, the authorities have intensified the execution for non-political charges. These are the low-cost victims of the Islamic Republic’s execution machine. In order to stop this machine, the international community and civil society inside and outside Iran must show the same reaction to each and every execution."
According to the report, "Unfortunately, international reactions have been lacking against the execution of non-political prisoners. This trend has continued into 2023."
Iran frames people for collaborating with Israel
The human rights NGOs wrote that “4 people were executed for collaboration with Israel” in 2022. Iran's regime frequently frames political dissidents for spying for Israel.
The report also cited the case of Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian scientist, who was arrested while on an academic visit to Iran.
Djalali was sentenced to “efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) through espionage for Israel.” The report said his trial was "grossly” unfair. "He has been sent back and forth to the gallows on multiple occasions in exchange attempts by Islamic Republic authorities.”
The US government has classified Iran's regime as the world's worst state-sponsor of terrorism.