Authorities in south-eastern Iran have reportedly executed four people who had been sentenced to death on drug-related charges, amid a spike in executions in the Islamic Republic.
Hossein Porsheikh, Omid Janabadi, Nabiullah Zaboli and a fourth person whose name has not yet been identified were executed in Kerman prison at dawn on May 18, human rights news agencies reported.
The four had been transferred to solitary cells on May 16 in preparation for their execution, according to the news website Haalvsh.
A recently published report by Amnesty International says the Islamic Republic executed at least 576 people last year, an increase of 83 percent compared to 2021.
"The Iranian authorities continued to use the death penalty as a tool of political repression and to disproportionately execute members of ethnic minorities as part of the long-term, entrenched discrimination and repression of these groups," the London-based human rights organization said.
Of the recorded executions, 48 percent were for murder; 44 percent were for drug-related offences; 21 were for rape; 18 were for "waging was against God;" and three were for unknown crimes.
On May 19, the Iranian judiciary announced that three men accused of deadly violence during last year’s anti-government protests were executed in the central city of Isfahan at dawn, sparking widespread condemnation both inside and outside Iran.