Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported that Iran hanged 12 inmates, including a woman, in a day in Zahedan prison in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
The inmates hanged on Monday were convicted of drug-related or murder charges, AFP has reported citing
According to reports, the executed people were Baluchis, a minority people living in Iran’s south-east bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Of the 12, six were convicted for drug-related charges and the rest for murder. None of the executions had been reported by domestic media or confirmed by officials in Iran, it said.
Sistan-Baluchestan is the country’s second-largest but least developed province. Sunni Muslim Baluchis make up the majority of the province’s population. There have been reports of widespread discrimination against minorities, especially in employment.
“Data gathered by Iran Human Rights shows that Baluch prisoners accounted for 21 per cent of all executions in 2021, while only representing 2–6 per cent of Iran’s population,” IHR added.
There has also been concern over a recent upsurge of executions in Iran, as the country’s leaders are confronted with protests over price rises for basic goods.
Earlier this month, Amnesty International’s annual report on worldwide use of the death penalty showed Iran as a country with a “disturbing spike” in executions.
The 66-page report found Iran executed at least 314 people in 2021, a 28 per cent jump from at least 246 in 2020 and the highest figure since 2017. Amnesty said that in Iran “death sentences were disproportionately used against members of ethnic minorities.”