Iran carried out 142 executions in May, marking the highest number of people put to death in one month in the country since 2015, a rights group has said.
Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) said Thursday at least 307 people have been executed in 2023, a rise of 76 percent compared to the same period last year.
Iran Human Rights called on the international community “to stop the Islamic Republic’s killing machine with a strong reaction and practical punitive steps”.
“The purpose of the Islamic Republic’s intensification of arbitrary executions is to spread societal fear to prevent protests and prolong its rule,” said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.
“If the international community doesn’t show a stronger reaction to the current wave of executions, hundreds more will fall victim to their killing machine in the coming months.”
It said 59 percent of those hanged this year — 180 people — were executed for drug-related charges.
At least 142 people have been executed in May, the highest monthly execution since 2015. Of those, 78 people (55%) were executed for drug-related charges.
Up to 21 percent of those executed in May — 30 people — were from Balochistan.
Last month, UN Human Rights Chief Volker Turk expressed dismay at the frighteningly high number of executions this year in Iran.
“On average so far this year, over 10 people are put to death each week in Iran,” said Turk.
Rights organizations warned of a new record that could be the highest in two decades if the current pace continues.
Nearly 1,000 people were executed in Iran in 2015, marking the highest number in 20 years. This is the same year when Iran signed the nuclear deal with the world powers.