Iran executes five over drug trafficking

Iran executes more people a year than any other nation except China, according to human rights groups including Amnesty International.


Iranian authorities on Monday executed five people over “armed drug smuggling” in the south of the country, the judiciary reported. 

The convicts, “all criminals and armed drug smugglers”, had been sentenced to death by hanging in a verdict upheld by Iran’s top court, the judiciary’s website Mizan Online quoted Mojtaba Ghahramani, Chief Justice of the southern province of Hormozgan, as saying.

“The sentences of the aforementioned were carried out this morning in Bandar Abbas and Minab prisons” in Hormozgan, he added.

8 people

The latest hangings bring to eight the number of people executed in less than a week over drug smuggling.

On Wednesday, the judiciary executed three convicted drug cartel members, following warnings from the United Nations over the “frighteningly” high number of executions in the country.

Iran executes more people a year than any other nation except China, according to human rights groups including Amnesty International.

ALSO READ: UN says Iran executes on average more than ten people per week

On Monday, Iran executed two people following a rare conviction for desecrating the Koran and insulting the Prophet Mohammad, prompting US condemnation and outcry from human rights groups.

Iran’s ‘abominable’ track record

On Tuesday, UN rights chief Volker Turk sounded the alarm over Iran’s “abominable” track record this year, with an average of more than 10 people being put to death each week.

ALSO READ: Iran executions surge in bid to ‘spread fear’ – rights groups

More than 210 people have already been executed in Iran this year, most of them for drug-related offences, but a United Nations statement said the actual number is likely much higher.

The country hanged 75 percent more people in 2022 than the previous year, the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Paris-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) said in a joint report in April.

ALSO READ: Iran executions more than double in first half of 2022 – NGO

At least 582 people were executed in Iran last year, the highest number of executions in the country since 2015 and well above the 333 recorded in 2021, the two rights groups said.

Picture for illustration. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

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