Iran hangs 27 people in January amid incessant use of death penalty

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Majid Kakavand

Majid Kakavand

At least 27 prisoners were executed in Iran in January 2021. The executed include four political prisoners, six drug offenders, 16 people convicted of murder and one accused of rape.

At least 10 of those executed are Baluch citizens. This figure does not include prisoners who are secretly executed and whose identities cannot be registered due to the regime’s lack of transparency.

These executions were carried out in Ahvaz, Qom, Zahedan, Ardabil, Sanandaj, Qom, Rasht, Mashhad, Meshkinshahr, Zabol, Tabriz, Yazd, Zanjan and Qazvin prisons.

Executions for politically motivated charges

Iranian authorities executed Baluch political prisoner Javid Dehghan who was convicted of killing Iranian security forces despite a plea by the United Nations to halt his execution. Javid Dehghan, 31, was arrested in 2015 and sentenced to death by the Court in Zahedan based on confessions he had made under torture.

Ali Matiri, a political prisoner from Iran’s Arab minority was executed in Sheiban Prison of Ahwaz on January 28. He was sentenced to death on the charge of “Moharebeh” and “corruption on earth” based on confessions ha had made under torture.

The death sentence of two other Baluch political prisoners was carried out on January 3, in Zahedan Prison. The men were identified as 28-year-old Hassan Dehvari and 21-year-old Elias Qalandarzehi. The Sistan and Baluchestan Judiciary charged the Baluch political prisoners with “armed measures against the police and collaboration with an armed dissident group”.

However, the Baloch Campaign, a human rights group based in the US said Dehvari and Qalandarzehi were detained because their families are members of dissident groups.

Three other political prisoners Hamid Rast Bala, Kabir Saadat Jahani, and Mohammad Ali Arayesh were executed on December 31 on the charge of “baghy” (violence against an Islamic ruler). These men were originally arrested in 2015 and accused of being members of the Sunni militant group Ansar Al Furqan. However, these charges were never proven in a fair and open trial. Instead, the men were tortured into making false confessions.
Executions for non-violent drug-related crimes

Two prisoners identified as Farzad Mohammad Noureh and Mehdi Joshani were executed in the prison of Qom on January 9. They were convicted of drug related charges.

Another prisoner convicted of drug charges, Majid Rigi, was executed on January 10, in the central prison of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan Province. The 37-year-old Baluchi prisoner had spent 10 years on death row.

Shamsuddin Soleimani was executed on January 14 in Qazvin Prison. He was arrested in 2015. He had repeatedly said that the cargo he was carrying in his car did not belong to him and that he was just a driver. The owner of the drugs fled Iran after Shamsuddin was arrested.

Anvar Alizehi was executed also in Zahedan Prison on January 19. He had been detained in Zahedan for two years on drug-related charges.

Abdulrauf Kabdani was executed in Zahedan Prison on January 20. Kabdani was a citizen of Zabol from Sistan and Baluchistan Province who had been sentenced to death for drug offenses.

At dawn on Thursday, January 28, a Baluch prisoner identified as Anwar Naroui was executed in Dastgerd prison in Isfahan. He was charged with drug-related offenses.

Executions for murder charges

On January 18, Farzad Nasser Jourshari, 36, was executed in Lakan Prison in Rasht on charges of murder. The prisoner had spent the past four years in solitary confinement. He was the father of two girls, ages 7 and 15.

At dawn on January 13, a 27-year-old prisoner identified as Saber Khoshkar was executed in Tabriz Prison on charges of murder.

Reza Shirzadeh was hanged in Yazd Prison on January 14. The 36-year-old prisoner, who was imprisoned for five years, was charged with murder.

On January 13, a prisoner identified as Jama Daroozehi was executed in Zabul Prison. He was a taxi driver and was arrested in 2017 for killing another taxi driver during a fight.

Another ethnic Baluchi identified as Hafez Abdulsattar Anshini was executed in Zahedan Central Prison on January 20, after spending eight years on death row for murder. A source close to the man said that Anshini was innocent and one of his acquaintances committed the crime. But Anshini was arrested and sentenced to death after the murderer fled.

Two brothers, Mehdi and Moharram Feizi, were executed on January 13 in Ardebil prison. Mehdi, 32, and Moharram, 40, had been held in the ward 5 of Ardebil prison for six years.

Another report obtained from inside Iran pertains that the regime executed two other prisoners in Meshgin Shahr, Ardebil, on January 11. Their names and details are not known.

On the morning of January 20, the death sentences of two male prisoners were carried out in Zahedan Central Prison. Younes Jamshid Zehi and Shamsuldin Baji Zehi (an Afghani national) were both 33 years old. They had been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) on murder charges.

Iranian authorities executed 30-year-old Mehdi Ali Hosseini, on January 25. Hosseini, a wrestler from Andimeshk, southwest Iran, had been in prison since 2015. The regime executed Hosseini despite international calls for sparing his life.

A prisoner identified as Fateh Ghaderinia was executed in Sanandaj Central Prisonon January 18. The 46-year-old had been sentenced to to qisas (retribution-in-kind) on murder charges.

On January 27, the death sentence of Abbas Ali Hosseini was carried out in Zanjan Central Prison. Mr. Ali Hosseini had previously been sentenced to death on murder charges.

According to Hengaw human rights website, a woman was executed in Sanandaj Central Prison on January 27 on charges of murder. The woman has not been identified in the report.

On January 1, the state-run Rokna News Agency reported the execution of a prisoner identified as “Rostam”. The report said that the death sentence of this agricultural engineer was carried out on December 30 in Karaj prison.

Other cases

On January 23, a prisoner identified as Mohammad Shakoori was hanged in Qom Central Prison. He was charged with rape and had been on death row for more than three years.

Executions must be halted

Once again, Iran Human Rights Monitor reiterates its call on the United Nations Secretary-General, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, and all human rights defenders, as well as the European Union and its member states, to condemn ongoing executions in Iran and take immediate action to save the lives of prisoners on the death row.

Source » iran-hrm

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