From January 1 to April 23, 2020, at least 84 people have been executed in Iran. It is higher than the similar time period in 2019 and 2018.
At least 33 people have been hanged in Iran after Coronavirus pandemic in Iran. Since the government forbids gathering to avoid physical contacts and further spread of the virus, holding a funeral for the executed people is not possible for the mourning families.
Executions in 2020 (January 1 to April 23):
– At least 84 executed
– Only 18 of the executions (21%) were announced by the authorities
– 74 executed for murder charges (qisas)
– 5 executed for drug-related charges
– At least 2 juveniles executed- A third juvenile offender killed under ill-treatment and torture
– 4 women were executed
– 33 executed after the official announcement of the Coronavirus breakout in Iran
– At least two executions are related to Coronavirus-related prison riot and the death row prisoners escape from the prisons
According to the Iran Human Rights (IHR) statistics department, from January 1 to April 23, 2020, at least 84 people have been executed in Iran. It is higher than the similar time period in 2019 and 2018 in which respectively 79 and 64 people were executed in the country in the first four-month of each year.
Child executions in 2020
At least two juvenile offenders were executed in March and April 2020 and one death-row juvenile offender was beaten to death by prison guards.
Juvenile offender Shayan Saeedpour was executed on April 21, 2020, at the prison of Saqqez city, Kurdistan province. Shayan murdered a person during a street fight when he was under 18. Shayan Saeedpour was born on September 21, 1997, and the crime date was August 13, 2015. His identity document is published by Iran Human Rights (IHR).
Iranian authorities have also executed Majid Esmaeil-Zadeh on April 18 who IHR first reported him as a possible juvenile offender. IHR researchers could not yet obtain Majid’s identity documents but according to several independent sources he was under 18 years of age at the time of the arrest.
In addition to the aforementioned child executions, a death row juvenile offender was beaten to death by prison guards. Danial Zeinolabedini was a juvenile offender whose death sentence had been upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court. Danial was born on August 9, 2000. He allegedly committed murder on September 22, 2017, when he was 17 years old. Danial’s body was handed over to his family on April 2, 2020.
Drug-related executions in 2020
From January 1 to April 23, at least 5 prisoners have been executed for drug-related charges:
Ali Ashouri who was sentenced to death around 11 years ago for an alleged role in a legal case dealing with smuggling drugs and firearms, was executed at Isfahan Central Prison on January 6, 2020. He had always denied the accusations. “He was only the driver and did not smuggle anything,” a well-informed source told IHR.
Naeim Zavareh and Ali Dadkhah were hanged on February 12, 2020, at the central prison of Qom, a city located around 140 km south of Tehran. They were sentenced to death for drug-related charges.
IHR reported the above-mentioned three cases while they have not yet been announced by Iranian authorities or media outlets inside the country.
Iranian authorities have officially confirmed two other drug-related executions in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas. They were hanged on January 23, 2020.
Iran Human Rights (IHR) sources could identify the two as Massih Hatami and Javad Alilou.
Public executions in 2020
No public execution has been reported so far in 2020. This is the first time since 2016 that no public executions are reported in the first four months of a year.
Qisas executions in 2020
At least 74 people have been executed for murder charges (qisas or retribution in kind) between January 1 and April 23, 2020.
In the first four months of 2019, IHR reported 65 qisas executions. The number for 2018 was 53. An overview of qisas executions in the last four years shows that 2020 has the highest number of qisas executions in the first four months of the year since 2016.
A case of qassameh execution in 2020
On April 22, 2020, seven prisoners were executed at Rajai-Shahr prison, Karaj city, near the capital. Among them, Hamidreza Asgharpour Masouleh was charged with murdering his wife. With no hard evidence and despite his denial, Hamidreza was sentenced to death by qassameh.
Qassameh is a way to prove a crime (murder or injury) in the Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) which is practised in Iran. Qassameh, which means “sworn oath”, is based on swearing an oath on the Quran by a certain number of people and is performed when the judge decides that there is not enough evidence of guilt to prove the crime but the judge still thinks that the defender is most probably guilty. It must be noted that the people who swear in Qassameh are not direct witnesses to the crime.
Issuing an execution verdict without enough shreds of evidence, and just because the plaintiff’s family thinks the defender is guilty, is not acceptable in any kind of modern legal system and should be considered a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially Article 10.
Lack of transparency and secret executions
Only 18 cases (21%) out of 84 executions have been announced by Iranian authorities or media. The rest have been confirmed by IHR’s sources. Thus, the actual number could be much higher than what is reported here.
In 2019, the Iranian authorities announced 20% of the executions.
Executions and situation of Iranian prisons in COVID-10 Pandemics
Executions in Iran have continued to be carried out even after the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.
Iran reported its first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections on 19 February 2020. At least 33 executions have been carried out between February 19 and April 23. Since the government forbids gathering to avoid physical contacts and further spread of the virus, holding a funeral for the executed people is not possible for the mourning families.
Given the overcrowding of Iranian prisons, lack of proper medical and food service, more prisoners’ lives are in danger. Iranian authorities have announced that they have granted furlough to close to 100.000 prisoners in an emergency move to stop the spread of the coronavirus, reported Iranian Judiciary’s official website. However, still, thousands of prisoners are still in danger. This includes several human rights defenders who are sentenced to long term prisons, including Atena Daemi, Narges Mohammadi, Amirsalar Davoudi, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Arash Sadeghi and many more.
IHR is strongly concerned about the health of Iranian prisoners and has called for the unconditional release of prisoners of conscience and special measures to counter the spread of the disease in the prisons.
Source » iranhr