Drug executions in Iran are back on the rise

Flickr - Matthew Lee High - CC BY-NC 2.0


Drug executions in Iran are back on the rise

30 September 2022
Talking Drugs

By André Gomes / Talkingdrugs

A recent press release from Amnesty in July 2022 highlighted a spike in Iranian executions, where at least 251 people had been executed in the first half of 2022. This report was confirmed by local Iranian watchdog organisations, noting that more than a third of these executions (36%, or 91 people) had been for drug-related offences. This rise represents a rapid escalation in state-sponsored violence, occurring within a context of raising political unrest in the nation.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) has been monitoring executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran for the past 17 years. According to several reports gathered by them, demonstrate that there had been at least 126 people that were executed for drug-related offences in 2021, a five-fold increase in comparison with the previous three years.

IHR’s work is particularly vital to reporting drug-related deaths, as the Iranian government often hides their executions: IHR said that none of the drug-related executions in 2021 were reported by the state, having instead to verify the deaths through independent sources. Of the 251 conducted in the first half of 2022, only 31 were confirmed by domestic media or government officials.