Executions in Iran since 2018

04 April 2019 :

(upated October 21, 2019) At least 326 executions were carried out in Iran in 2018 according to Hands off Cain data as you can see at this link*
With these executions, at least 3,614 prisoners have been executed in Iran since the beginning of Rouhani’s presidency (July 1, 2013).

From July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, there were at least 444 executions; in 2014 there were at least 800 executions; at least 970 executions in 2015; at least 530 executions in 2016; at least 544 executions in 2017 and at least 326 in 2018.

While the number of executions is lower than previous years, the country continues to record the highest number of per capita executions in the world also in 2017.

In 2018, only 85 execution cases (27%) were reported by official Iranian sources (websites of the Iranian Judiciary, national Iranian broadcasting network, and official or State-run news agencies and newspapers); 224 other cases (73%) included in the annual numbers were reported by unofficial sources (other human rights NGOs or sources inside Iran). The actual number of executions is probably higher than the figures included in the Annual Report of Hands Off Cain.

The crimes that have motivated death sentences are divided as follows in terms of frequency: murder: 230 (about 71%), of which 36 announced by official sources; Moharebeh (waging war against God), "corruption on earth", armed robbery, and extortion: 34 (about 10%), including 29 officially reported; drug-related offences: 27 cases (about 8%), none reported by official Iranian sources; rape: 17 (about 5%), of which 14 announced by official media; political offences or “terrorism”: 13 (4%), including 6 officially reported. In at least a couple of cases, the crimes for which the convicts were found guilty remained unspecified.

Public executions by hanging continued into 2018. At least 14 people were hanged in public in 2018 according to official sources consulted by Hands off Cain, a lower number compared to 36 in 2017.

In 2018, executions of women have slightly increased: there were at least 5 (compared to 12 in 2017), of which 1 reported by official sources and all for murder. Two of them were juveniles at the moment of fact.

Executions of child offenders continued into 2018, in open violation of two international Treaties to which it is Party, the ICCPR and the CRC, both of which outlaw the execution of people who had committed their crimes when they were under the age of 18. At least 7 juvenile offenders were hanged in 2018, including 2 women and at least one case was  reported by official sources. All were executed for murder.

In 2018, at least 10 people could be considered hanged for political offences. But it is probable that many of the people put to death for ordinary crimes or for “terrorism,” are in fact political opponents, in particular members of Iran’s ethnic minorities, including: Iranian Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Baluchis, and Arabs. Accused of being Mohareb – enemies of Allah – those arrested are often subject to rapid and severe trials that often end with a sentence of death. The punishment for Moharebeh is death or amputation of the right hand and left foot, according to the Iranian Penal Code.

* This spreadsheet puts together data collected from different sites, favoring (for a criterion of uniformity) the sites managed by Iranians publishing in English. However, transliteration from Persian (Farsi) to Latin characters may be ambiguous, and often options are given for person or place names.

In Iran the dates follow the Persian calendar, so sometimes even dates present some uncertainty.

The high number of executions of unidentified people (abbreviated as unk) may have caused some inaccuracy, because sometimes it is not enough to "deduce" from prisons, dates and crimes wether it is the same case being reported by different sites. After making all reasonable checks, the possibility remains that some "unidentified" may have been listed twice, or not listed at all.

However, to facilitate further verification, for each alleged execution the internet source is indicated, a source which in turn often leads back to the Persian source.

*This spreadsheet puts together data collected from different sites, favoring (for a criterion of uniformity) the sites managed by Iranians publishing in English. However, transliteration from Persian (Farsi) to Latin characters may be ambiguous, and often options are given for person or place names.

In Iran the dates follow the Muslim calendar, so sometimes even dates present some uncertainty. The high number of executions of unidentified people (abbreviated as unk) may have caused some inaccuracy, because sometimes it is not enough to "deduce" from prisons, dates and crimes if it is the same case reported by different sites. After making all reasonable checks, the possibility remains that some "unidentified" may have been listed in excess or in default.

However, to facilitate further verification, for each piece of news the internet source is indicated, a source which in turn often leads back to the Persian source.

The main reference sites for this database are:

https://iranhr.net/en
Iran Human Rights

https://iranhrdc.org
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

https://iran-hrm.com
Iran HRM (Human Rights Monitor)

https://hengaw.net/en
Hengaw Organization for Human Rights (focused on the Kurdish minority)

http://balochwarna.com
Balochwarna News (focused on the Baloch minority)

http://kurdistanhumanrights.net/en
KHRN (Kurdistan Human Rights Network (focused on the Kurdish minority)

http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org
British site tracking executions worldwide

https://ipa.united4iran.org/en
Iran Prison Atlas

https://iranhumanrights.org IHRDC
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

https://mafnews.de/english
Center of Democracy and Human Rights in Kurdistan (focused on the Kurdish minority)

https://women.ncr-iran.org
NCRI (National Council Of Resistance Of Iran Women Committee)

https://www.en-hrana.org
Human Rights Activists News Agency

https://www.iranrights.org
Human Rights & Democracy for Iran

https://www.ncr-iran.org/en
NCRI (National Council Of Resistance Of Iran Foreign Affairs Committee

The main journalistic sources considered "official" (or otherwise pro-government) are: Fararu, Fars News Agency, ILNA (Iranian Labour News Agency), IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iranian Broadcasting), IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), ISNA (Iranian Students' News Agency), Javan, Mizan, Rokna, Tasnim News Agency, YJC (Young Journalists Club).

Most information on executions in Iran actually comes from other sources related to human rights or political opposition.