The 12th annual report on the death penalty by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty) provides an assessment and analysis of the death penalty trends in 2019 in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It sets out the number of executions in 2019, the trend compared to previous years, the legislative framework and procedures, charges, geographic distribution and a monthly breakdown of executions. Lists of the female and juvenile offenders executed in 2019 are also included in the tables.

The report also looks into the abolitionist movement within Iran, including the forgiveness movement and its contribution to limiting the use of the death penalty, the artists and filmmakers attempting to promote abolition, and the authorities’ attempt to promote the death penalty and crackdown on human rights defenders.

In this article, you will read about a section of the report regarding executions in the Iranian ethnic regions in 2019.

As previous Annual Reports show, ethnic minorities in Iran are over-represented in the death penalty statistics. This is also true in 2019, especially in East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan provinces. However, given the fact that the execution of people who belong to different ethnic groups is not implemented exclusively in their respective regions, it is hard to say exactly how many people belonging to ethnic minorities were executed.

For instance, many Kurds have been hanged in Urmia Prison which is located in West Azerbaijan.

On the other hand, information about those executed doesn’t always include their ethnicity. Executions of Baluchi prisoners are in many cases carried out in prisons outside Baluchestan.

Nonetheless, the considerable fact is the secrecy of executions among four ethnic provinces, W. Azerbaijan, E. Azerbaijan, Sistan and Baluchistan, and Kurdistan.

In 2019, 47 of the 49 executions IHR has managed to confirm in the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Baluchestan, were not announced by official Iranian sources. The trend has also been similar in previous years.

Thus, it is safe to say that an unprecedented level of secrecy in executions is taking place in the Iranian ethnic regions.

On the other hand, the absolute majority of all executions for political affiliation belong to the ethnic groups, particularly the Kurds. An overview of IHR reports between 2010 and 2019 shows that among the 120 people who have been executed for affiliation with banned political and militant groups, 65 were Kurds (55%), 29 Baluchis (25%) and 17 Arabs (14%). It is important to note that most of those executed among the ethnic groups were Sunni Muslims.

There are several reasons for the overrepresentation of ethnic groups among those executed. A higher opposition among people against the authorities leads to an increased need for the authorities to use violence and create fear. Besides, the presence of militant groups in these areas makes it easier for the authorities to issue death sentences under the pretext of fighting terrorism. There is less visibility from the media and human rights groups on the situation in certain ethnic regions. Finally, poverty, poor socio-economic situation and the lawlessness and arbitrariness present in the Iranian Judiciary are even more serious in the ethnic regions.

Source » iran human rights