Officials raise the alarm about ‘execution spree’ in Iran

Click to play video: 'Chilling execution spree in Iran'
Chilling execution spree in Iran
Concern is growing as the Iranian regime steps up the pace of executions, killing ten or more people every week. Negar Mojtahedi reports – May 15, 2023

WARNING: This story contains sensitive and upsetting content. Discretion is advised.

A heart-wrenching video of a young Iranian girl begging authorities in Salmas Prison in northwest Iran to spare her father’s life a day before his execution has gone viral, amid a surge in executions in the country.

Her father, Abdullah Khan-Mohammadi, was hanged despite his daughter’s tearful pleas.

WARNING: This video contains sensitive content:

Story continues below advertisement

The founder of Oslo-based non-governmental organization Iran Human Rights, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said in the month of May alone at least 59 people have been executed in Iran and since the start of this year, at least 223 people.

“You don’t find these numbers anywhere else,” he said.

Amiry-Moghaddam said the regime’s “killing machine is accelerating.”

Many of the death sentences, he said are based on bogus drug-related charges and blasphemy.

“There is no due process and no fair trials,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Metro Vancouver Baha’is raise alarm about ‘apartheid’ in Iran'
Metro Vancouver Baha’is raise alarm about ‘apartheid’ in Iran

His concern is that the Islamic Republic is expanding the scope of charges to implement the death penalty as the regime tests international reaction. The reaction has largely been limited to international condemnation and expressions of outrage, which Amiry-Moghaddam said sends a green light to the Islamic Republic to continue their execution spree.

Story continues below advertisement

Most recently, the regime executed two men, Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli-Zare, for insulting the Prophet and charges of blasphemy.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

“That’s basically that they found something on their cell phones with content insulting the religion and the Prophet and for that, they were hanged,” Amiry-Moghaddam added.

“A Swedish-Iranian citizen who was abducted in Turkey forcibly moved to Iran and tortured to give confessions. He was executed.”

The victims, he said, are largely from the marginalized parts of society and ethnic and religious minorities like the Baloch people, – an ethnic group who are native to the Balochistan region of western and south Asia. They belong to Iran’s most impoverished region and are systemically criminalized with disproportionately higher rates of execution, particularly during times of political unrest.

Officials say the Baloch people in Iran are being persecuted at a higher rate even though they make up the lowest in population numbers. Naela Quadri Baloch
Click to play video: 'Metro Vancouver activists play key role tracking violence against women and girls in Iran'
Metro Vancouver activists play key role tracking violence against women and girls in Iran

Professor Naela Quadri Baloch, a Baloch woman, politician and activist, lives in exile in Port Coquitlam.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s heart-wrenching. We can’t sleep. We can’t live in peace. All the Baloch all around the world,” Quadri Baloch told Global News.

In Iran last year, one-third of all executions were of Baloch people, yet they account for less than five per cent of Iran’s population according to Iran Human Rights.

Baloch people account for less than five per cent of Iran’s population according to Iran Human Rights.
Baloch people account for less than five per cent of Iran’s population according to Iran Human Rights. Iran Human Rights

“We are facing genocide,” Quadri Baloch said. “They are killing Baloch in cold-blooded manner in the name of enemies of God.”

As Sunni Muslims, Baloch people are both an ethnic and religious minority. Iran’s Constitution declares Shia Islam as the country’s official state religion with the state apparatus discriminating against religious minorities.

The aim of an increase in executions according to Iran Human Rights, is to instill fear into society to prevent more anti-regime protests. Since the in-custody death of Mahsa Jina Amini, the people of Balochistan have been at the forefront of uprisings threatening to topple the regime.

Story continues below advertisement

“They have no mercy on anyone,” said Quadri Baloch, “It’s not only Baloch but Baloch are at the forefront because Baloch or not sitting down.”

She is outraged by the lack of action from the global community. She said she’s appalled the United Nations recently appointed Iran to the Human Rights Council Social Forum.

“They kill, they hang, they rape, and they are the champions of human rights at the United Nations?” Quadri Baloch asked.

Sponsored content