Iran’s surging number of executions amidst protests are a cause for ‘deep concern’, says the UN

Banner that reads "Woman, Life, Freedom" from protests in Iran that has seen surging numbers of executions
Support us and go ad-free

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), on 4 April, denounced the rising numbers of executions in Iran. The executions included those of people connected to protests across the country.

The UNHRC approved a resolution that voiced:

deep concern at the reported surge in the number of executions, including of individuals sentenced to death in relation to their alleged involvement in the recent protests.

The resolution passed with 23 of the council’s 47 members voting in favour, while 16 abstained. Eight opposed the text, including China, Cuba, Pakistan, and Vietnam. The resolution also extended the mandate of the UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in Iran for another year

Iran’s executions intend to undermine protests

Police arrested Mahsa Amini on 13 September 2022 for allegedly breaking strict codes on wearing her hijab. She died three days later. Her cousin told Sky News that police “tortured and insulted” her in that time. Amini’s death sparked nationwide protests, which continue more than six months later.

The UNHRC resolution echoed strong international condemnation over the country’s crackdown on the protest movement. The Iranian state has executed four people over the protests, while Iranian security forces have killed at least 537 people in their crackdown, according to Iran Human Rights (IHR).

At least two of the protesters were allegedly convicted using coerced confessions. On 9 December 2022, the Canary wrote that:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Iran’s Fars news agency carried a video report of [Mohsen] Shekari talking about the attack while in detention, which IHR described as a “forced confession” with his face “visibly injured”.

And just a few days later, on 13 December, we reported that:

Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said that images have shown authorities beat [Majidreza] Rahnavard in custody, and then forced him into a purported confession – broadcast on state media.

However, rights groups warned that executions on all kinds of charges are on the rise, arguing that this seeks to intimidate society into not protesting. IHR said Iran put 309 people to death since September on non-protest charges, including 180 for drug-related offences. These happened without a murmur of dissent from the international community.

IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam told Agence France-Presse that:

These are the ‘low-cost’ victims of the regime’s execution machine

Nobody knows them, their executions don’t receive any condemnation – but the aim is the same; to spread fear and prevent more protests.

Crimes against humanity

The UNHRC’s resolution called on Iran to “take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures” to ensure no one is executed for “offences that do not meet the threshold of the most serious crimes”.

Iran must also ensure that no executions are carried out “for alleged offences committed before the age of 18 years”, and that sentences are only handed down by “courts that are competent, independent and impartial”.

Beyond executions, the council deplored “systematic discrimination and violence based on gender, ethnicity, religion or belief or political opinion” in Iran.

It urged authorities to guarantee and uphold the right to freedom of expression and opinion, and to address “systematic impunity”.

The resolution also extended the mandate of special rapporteur Javaid Rehman. In a report presented to the council last month, Rehman warned Iran had committed serious violations since Amini’s death. He warned some of these acts – including widespread murder, imprisonment, torture and sexual violence – could amount to crimes against humanity.

Featured image via Taymaz Valley/Flickr, resized to 770*403

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Never mind, sometime soon America will officially announce “Get Iran” week, and the “radical ” Canary can cheerlead for it.

      Sometimes though, what isn’t reported is as telling as what is…

      For example : on 5th February it was reported that “Iran’s leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei approved the request of Judiciary Chief Gholam Hossein Mohseini to pardon or commute the sentences of inmates who were convicted during the recent riots.

      “The prisoners, who were granted clemency, were convicted at courts of common pleas and Islamic Revolution tribunals, the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces, and the State Discretionary Punishment Organization.

      “This clemency verdict excluded convicts with exceptional charges, including but not restricted to, espionage, collaboration with enemy countries, links to foreign intelligence agencies, homicide, inflicting intentional injury, rape, kidnapping, vandalism of governmental or military sites, smuggling narcotics, armed activity, money laundering, money forgery… etc.”

      Source : Al-Mayadeen:

      The Canary failed to report on that, which was disapointing but not unexpected.

      With regards to Mahsa Amini , an Al-Mayadeen investigation uncovered a different story to the “official” Western version.

      “Al Mayadeen learned that Amini was never assaulted, beaten, or abused, and the proof was CCTV footage that slammed western reports as fake and fabricated.

      “The incident, recorded by the CCTV, shows a female police officer approaching Amini and pointing at her hijab. Amini and the officer entered into a verbal disagreement, after which the officer turned around and left Amini alone.

      “At this point, and without any physical altercation taking place between the two – contrary to western media reports which claimed that Amini was brutally beaten – Amini fainted and it was later reported that she fell into a coma. The police officer can be seen rushing to support Amini to prevent her from falling. Amini was then transferred to the hospital for treatment.

      The video shows that there was no violence and no beating whatsoever and that not even an arrest was made. Official sources told Al Mayadeen that Amini had a brain tumor and that she has been undergoing treatment for some time prior to the incident. Medical records confirm Amini’s multiple visits to the hospital for treatment.”

      Al-Mayadeen concludes : “Propagating Iranophobia, which is a main course on the western agenda, is not new. Only this time, unfortunately, the West has gone as far as exploiting the death of an innocent woman all for the sake of politicizing the incident and pushing further their anti-Iran propaganda, completely turning a blind eye to the truth.”

      And a final Iran story, which again The Canary missed : 21 Feb 2023…

      “Iranian border guards detained a ship in southern Iran loaded with around 5,000 edged weapons made by the United States, the commander of the Border Guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmad Ali Goudarzi, said on Tuesday.

      “A ship with more than 5,000 machetes and daggers was found in Bushehr province, the weapons were made in the United States,” Goudarzi said, as quoted by Iranian news agency Tasnim.

      “The smuggled weapons were intended to be used for creating unrest in the country by “radical elements”

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.