The number of public executions has risen sharply in Iran amidst continuous warnings over the escalating regime brutality from many international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The regime has disregarded all such statements, already reaching a new record on the number of executions in early 2017 as it did in 2016 and the previous years under Rouhani, whose government has been hailed as “moderate” by the Obama administration.
Those put to death by the regime are often executed on charges such as drug trafficking, armed robbery, and murder, although the regime also justifies the execution of political prisoners and cultural and civil rights activists using vague charges such as “waging war against God”, blasphemy, acting against national security, disruption of public order, secessionism, creation sedition, and supporting armed struggle against the Islamic Republic.
The trials of political prisoners and activists are largely purely for show, held in private, with no defense for the accused and using confessions extracted from prisoners under torture by the regime’s intelligence services. Such prisoners are routinely kept in solitary confinement throughout their imprisonment and forbidden from receiving visits from anyone, including lawyers or even family members. Execution is considered one of the pillars of the Iranian regime’s reign of terror, used to subjugate the people and silence any dissent.