The Death Penalty Debate in Iran: A Call for Justice


In recent times, Iran's use of the death penalty has captured the world's attention, sparking intense concerns, particularly regarding its application in both criminal and political spheres. According to the Iran Human Rights NGO (IHRNGO), a staggering 489 executions have been recorded in the first eight months of 2023, placing Iran second only to China in the global tally. The Iranian legal framework permits the death penalty for a range of offenses, from drug-related crimes to homicide, and even the execution of political detainees.

Political prisoners often face ambiguous charges such as "enmity against God," "corruption on earth," or "insulting the Prophet" (sabb al-nabi). These charges are frequently leveled against individuals for merely voicing dissent, expressing alternative viewpoints, or participating in advocacy initiatives. Unfortunately, these cases are shrouded in opacity, with allegations of coerced confessions, inadequate legal representation, and unfair trials, eroding trust in the judicial system.

The repercussions of detaining political prisoners in Iranian penitentiaries extend far beyond the act of execution. Instances of torture, the improper administration of medications and psychiatric treatments, and the cohabitation of political detainees with violent offenders have given rise to deeply unsettling incidents.

In observance of the World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10, 2023, the ACAT Association, in collaboration with the "National Committee - Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran" and the "Iranian Student Association," with the invaluable support of Amnesty International Luxembourg, orchestrated a silent protest aimed at amplifying the global call for the abolition of capital punishment.

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." (Article 5, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)