Urgent Call to Condemn Executions in Iran and Address the Human Rights Catastrophe in Delfan
Yahya Ebrahimi, the representative of Delfan County in the regime’s parliament, stated in a video interview released on Wednesday, December 20, 2023: “Around one to two thousand young people from this county have been sentenced to death on charges of selling drugs,” and “they are in the stage of implementation of their verdicts,” meaning that they are on the verge of execution.
The representative of Delfan in the parliament has stated: “During my field visit to Delfan this week, I also had a visit and meeting with the families of prisoners who have been sentenced to death for selling drugs. These families provided horrifying statistics regarding the number of individuals condemned to death in this county.”
This is happening while Delfan County has a population of only 150,000 people. If we perform a simple calculation by dividing the population of 150,000 by 1,500 (taking the average between one to two thousand individuals who have been sentenced to death), we arrive at the number 100. This means that, based on this simple calculation, one person in every hundred in Delfan has been condemned to death by the Iranian regime on charges related to drugs. And this is solely and exclusively related to drug-related charges.
Such a high number of death sentences in a small county with a small population is a human rights catastrophe. While this issue is not limited to Delfan County, but a pattern implemented in each and every marginalized region of Iran. Thousands of individuals across Iran are being prepared for execution solely for drug crimes, which demonstrates a targeted and premeditated crime.
The objective of the Iranian regime in carrying out executions related to drug offenses is primarily aimed at suppressing and intimidating society. The execution of “ordinary prisoners” is considered one of the least costly forms of state-sanctioned killings for the Iranian regime. For this reason, the government has been utilizing these executions for years as a means of suppression, control, and vengeance.
A source close to the families of individuals who have received death sentences in Delfan told Iran Human Rights Monitor (IranHRM) that government forces have told these families that if one of their family members is a member of the Basij militia and assists in suppressing protests, they will save their brother or father from execution. This rumor spreads in the small town, forcing families to unwillingly comply and join the Basij, thus allowing the regime to control society through executions.
The majority of those who fall victim to executions are individuals who have experienced extreme poverty, and they are often considered part of the working class. The unemployment rate in Delfan is higher than the national average, standing at over 25 percent.
The news has also been published by domestic Iranian media outlets, including the website of the daily newspaper “Ettela’at” on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. Additionally, the government-affiliated newspaper “Baharnews” quoted a representative of the regime from Delfan, Lorestan, in the parliament, stating that approximately one to two thousand individuals in this county have been sentenced to death for drug trafficking and are in the phase of implementation of the verdicts.
Iran Human Rights Monitor (IranHRM) calls on the international community, particularly the United Nations and all human rights organizations, to condemn the executions in Iran and refuse to remain silent in the face of the human rights catastrophe in Delfan. We urge immediate action to stop the executions in Iran.