Human Rights Watch (HRW) says at least 11 prisoners in Iran are at risk of imminent execution, including eight Kurds and two Baluch, as the authorities have recently “escalated executions at an alarming rate.”
These prisoners “face the death penalty on political or security-related charges that under international law should never result in the death penalty, a grave violation of the right to life,” the New York-based watchdog said in a statement on January 23.
They were often convicted on “vague” charges, including “enmity against God,” and “corruption on Earth,” it said, adding, “Other countries should put pressure on Iran to end the use of the death penalty for such charges.”
Michael Page, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW, said that Iranian authorities “are notorious for wielding the death penalty against people after unfair trials to instill fear into a population that has mobilized nationwide protests calling for fundamental reforms.”
According to the activist HRANA news agency, at least 746 people were executed in Iran last year.
The Kurdistan Human Rights Network has reported on at least 34 executions since mid-December.
Minority communities in Iran are disproportionately targeted by capital punishment.