IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
February 15, 2019:
Hands Off Cain, in the forty years of the Khomeini’s revolution, makes known the death penalty figures in Iran in 2018. (Sources, HOC, 14/02/2019)
There are at least 277 executions carried out in 2018, of which 89 reported by official Iranian sources and 188 cases reported by unofficial sources. The actual number of executions is probably much higher than the data provided in the Hands Off Cain dossier. Data show a decrease in the number of executions compared to 2017 (at least 544). To affect this decline, the law on the reform of drug traffic regulations, which came into force on 14 November 2017. In 2018, drug executions have fallen to at least 23 compared to at least 257 in 2017.
The crimes that motivated the death sentences were, in terms of frequency: homicide, 195 executions (about 63%); moharebeh (to make war on God), "corruption on earth", robbery and extortion: 32 (about 10%); drug trafficking: 23 executions (about 7%); rape: 23 (about 7%); political crimes and "terrorism": 13 (4%); in at least 10 other cases (3%) the crimes for which the detainees were found guilty have not been specified.
Hanging is the preferred method by which Sharia is applied in Iran.
At least 13 people were hanged on the public square in 2018 according to the official news collected by Hands off Cain, a number much lower than the 36 reported in 2017.
At least 5 women were executed (compared to 12 in 2017). Two of them were underage at the time of the supposed crime. With those of 2018, the women executed under Rouhani presidency rose to 86.
The executions of minors continued in 2018.This places Iran in open violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has also ratified. At least 6 alleged minors at the time of the act were executed.
In 2018, at least 10 people were hanged for essentially political events. But it is likely that many others executed for common crimes were actually political opponents, in particular belonging to various Iranian ethnic minorities, including Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Baluchis and Ahwazi. Those arrested, accused of being mohareb, ie enemies of Allah, are usually subjected to a rapid and severe process that often ends up with the death penalty. In addition to death, the punishment for Moharebeh is the amputation of the right hand and left foot, according to the Iranian penal code.
There is not only the death penalty, according to the dictates of the Iranian Sharia, there are also torture, limb amputation, flogging and other cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments. These are not isolated cases, and they occur in open contrast to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that Iran has ratified and which prohibits these practices. Every year thousands of minors suffer whipping for drinking alcohol or having participated in parties with males and females together or outraging the public modesty. The Iranian authorities consider the lashes an adequate punishment to combat behaviors considered immoral, and insist that they be performed in the public square as a "lesson for the beholder".
In 2018, according to information from the Observatory on Human Rights in Iran, over 110 people were sentenced to flogging, and 11 of these sentences were carried out.
Furthermore, at least one case of limb amputation has been reported. The Observatory also estimates that during the protest that exploded in the country in January 2018, 8,000 arbitrary arrests would have been carried out, at least 58 people were killed and 12 among the imprisoned demonstrators were killed while undergoing torture.