According to the data collected from material published by the Iranian state-run press, human rights activists and their websites, or from private sources in touch with Iran Human rights Monitor, 24 people were executed in Iran in January 2020.
Nevertheless, the actual figures are definitely higher, as most executions in Iran are carried out secretly without anyone knowing except those who carry it out.
The executions were carried out in various prisons around the country in the cities of Karaj, Isfahan, Amol, Shiraz, Shahre Kord, Urmia, Borujerd, Tabriz, Zanjan, Rasht, Bandar Abbas and Minab.
Based on information collected by Iran HRM, 19 of those executed including two women were convicted of first-degree murder. The other five were hanged for major narcotics and drug trafficking convictions.
Official figures released by the Iranian regime acknowledge only eight execution, while credible reports indicate an additional 19 cases.
Drug offenders executed in January:
- Ali Hemmat Shakouri, a man accused of carrying weapons and drugs, and kept for twelve years behind bars, hanged on January 6, in Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan, central Iran.
- Javad Alilou, hanged in the Central Prison in the city of Bandar Abbas, southern Iran. Arrested in 2015 for carrying “shisheh” Alilou was hanged on January 23.
- Masih Hatami, hanged for smuggling narcotics on January 26 in the Central Prison in the city of Bandar Abbas.
- Eisa Zamin Gerefteh, accused of leading an international narcotics gang. He was arrested in 2015 while transferring drugs. Ali Salehi, the chief justice of the Hormozgan province, described the man as “the head of the International Narcotics Band” and said his death sentence had been carried out. He did not mention the date of his execution.
- Ali Bashgardi executed on January 23 on drug related charges in Minab Prison in southern Hormozgan province.
Women executed in January:
On January 14, a woman was executed in Shiraz, bringing the number of women executed during six years of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency to 105.
- Maliheh Haji Hassani, was executed on charge of murder on January 14 in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz, the capital of Fars Province. The 29-year-old was executed after spending three years on death row.
- Another woman named Sara M. was executed in Mashhad Prison, the state-run Young Journalists Club reported on January 7. The 35-year-old was executed after spending three years in prison on death row.
Iran’s deliberate use of capital punishment has been a constant source of international outrage and condemnation. According to several independent international bodies, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran and Amnesty International, Iran is the leading state in executions per capita, second only to China in terms of figures. Iran also tops the charts in the number of executions of minors and juvenile offenders. At least 273 people including nine juvenile offenders and 17 women were executed in 2019. 36 people were executed for drug related charges.