Rights group says Iran executes 582 people in 2022

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Iran executed at least 582 people in 2022, a 75% increase on the previous year, over anti-regime protests, two human rights groups said on Thursday. 

This is the highest number of executions in Iran since 2015, according to a report released by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and the France-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) groups.

The vast majority of the executions – at least 544 – were of people accused of murder and drug-related offenses, the report said, adding that almost 90% of the executions it recorded were not announced by Iranian authorities and some had been carried out in secret.

Both the IHR and the ECPM pointed out that the increase was Tehran’s way of trying to frighten protesters and prevent dissent, following a nationwide uprising sparked by the death of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last September. 

“Iran’s authorities demonstrated how crucial the death penalty is to instill societal fear in order to hold onto power,” the report said.

The report documented 15 executions carried out on the vaguely defined charges of “enmity against God” and “corruption on Earth,” the CNN said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Chief Volker Turk has criticized the crackdown as pushing Iran into a “full-fledged human rights crisis,” according to CNN. 

More than half of the executions last year took place after the protests erupted in September. Some 44% of all those sentenced to death were accused of drug-related offenses, despite no evidence of a marked rise in drug use or trafficking reported by international agencies, the report said.

In the report, the two rights groups urged the international community “to increase efforts to support the demands of the Iranian people for respect of their fundamental human rights and the abolition of the death penalty.”

Reporting by John Ahmad