The judicial system of the Islamic Republic has reportedly executed 11 ethnic Baluch prisoners and one Afghan national across the country over the past 48 hours.
The executions took place in Zahedan, Zabul and Birjand prisons, said Haalvsh, a group that monitors rights violations in Iran’s Baluch-populated areas, amid an escalating use of the death penalty against ethnic minorities.
None of those executed were granted the opportunity to bid farewell to their relatives, who were informed of the executions after they had been carried out.
The prisoners were sentenced to death on drug-related charges following a legal process marred by violations of the defendants’ rights, according to Haalvsh.
At least one of them was hanged despite a judge's explicit order to commute the sentence.
Haalvsh identified the 11 prisoners as Baidullah Gorgij, Shahsawar Shahriari, Mohammad Arbab, Assadullah Amini, Saeed Brahoui, Ali Brahoui, Khodarahm Mohammadani, Farhad Badrozeh, Hossein Gomshadzehi, Yousef Kalbali and Masoud Ishaqzehi.
The identity of the Afghan citizen is unknown.
“The Iranian authorities are carrying out executions on a frightening scale,” Roya Boroumand, executive director of Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, a Washington-based human rights organization, said in a statement in March.
“Their actions amount to an assault on the right to life and a shameless attempt not only to further oppress ethnic minorities but to spread fear that dissent will be met with brute force, either in the streets or in the gallows,” he added.
According to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group and France’s Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM), Iranian authorities executed at least 582 people in 2022, 75 percent more people than the previous year.
As many as 174 Baluch prisoners were among those executed last year, representing more than a third of all executions in the country.