Iranian authorities carried out the death penalty against at least 142 people during the month of May, reported the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) on Thursday, adding to Tehran’s already-alarming execution rate since the start of the year.

Over 50 percent of the executions were for drug-related charges, according to the human rights watchdog, also reporting executions for blasphemy, adultery, and efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), all contributing to making May “the highest monthly execution since 2015.”

The IHR called on the international community to display a stronger reaction and put an end to Tehran’s “killing machine.”

“If the international community doesn’t show a stronger reaction to the current wave of executions, hundreds more will fall victims to their killing machine in the coming months,” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the rights monitor’s director.

Iran executed at least 576 people in 2022, a significant increase from 314 in 2021, making it the country with the second highest rate of known executions during 2022, according to the annual report from Amnesty International.

This year, after last fall’s widespread demonstrations and a crackdown on the drug trade, Iran has carried out an alarming number of executions. IHR estimated at least 307 people executed during the first five months of 2023.

Executions for drug-related offences in Iran increased by 93 percent last year, going from 132 in 2021 to 255 in 2022, according to Amnesty.

Most of those who are executed in Iran are charged based on confessions, but these confession videos are common in the country and are frequently condemned by rights groups who say they are often obtained under duress.

Three men were executed for their involvement in last year’s nationwide demonstrations in May, with human rights watchdogs saying they had confessed under “violent” torture and constant threats from security forces.

Source » rudaw