Iran executed 114 people since Israel-Hamas war began
It seems Iran is taking advantage of the world focus on the Israel-Hamas war to carry out mass executions across its prisons.
Rights groups are sounding the alarm over the ongoing execution spree and the issuance of death penalties for fabricated crimes in Iran.
The Iran Detainees Report group, which tracks rights violations in Iran, warned against the imminent execution of Davoud Abdollahi, a Sunni-Kurdish man who has been in prison for 14 years, after another person arrested in the same case was executed last week.
Abdollahi, along with six other people, were arrested in 2009 for allegedly killing a Sunni cleric named Abdul Rahim Tina. In 2016, they were all sentenced to death on vague charges including “corruption on earth,” “enmity against god” and “membership in Salafi groups.”
“These arrestees were subjected to extreme mental and physical torture to make forced confessions,” Iran Detainees Report said in a post on the X platform on Tuesday.
On Nov. 5, Ghasem Abasteh, another Kurdish-Sunni detained in the same case, was executed in Ghezel Hesar Prison in the city of Karaj. The Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) condemned Abasteh’s execution and accused Iranian authorities of forcibly extracting confessions under torture.
Iran is the world's second-largest executioner, behind China, according to Amnesty International. IHR recorded 649 executions since the start of the year — 114 of which were carried out since the start of the war between Israel and the Iran-backed Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.
The Islamic Republic has also carried out mass executions in its prisons in the past days.
The US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported the execution of a group of nine people in Ghezel Hesar Prison last Wednesday. According to the rights group, three of the inmates were convicted of drug-related offenses, five of murder and one was charged for armed robbery.
The group execution at the Ghezel Hesar Prison came only days after another group of nine inmates at the same prison were executed on Nov. 1, according to IHR.
“Underscoring the fact that more than 600 executions in the first 10 months is unprecedented in the last eight years, Iran Human Rights urges the international community to condemn the arbitrary executions carried out by the Islamic Republic in the strongest possible terms,” the group said in a report.
Executions in Iran have spiked since anti-regime protests erupted in the country in September 2022, following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini after she was arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.
Rights groups have accused Iran of using the death penalty as a tool to intimidate and sow fear among any form of dissent.