An Iranian NGO, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, claims that at least 63 people have been executed in the last ten days in various cities and prisons across the country.
While many executions are conducted in the privacy of prisons, at least some people are still executed in public. Iran is one of only four countries to still carry out executions in public, though the practice was once common in the United States and elsewhere. Most executions in Iran are conducted by hanging.
The information has yet to be verified, and given that the National Councils of Resistance has advocated for the overthrow of the Iranian government, any information provided by the organization should be taken with a grain of salt.
Iran, however, is believed to trail only China in the number of people executed per year. The country allegedly executes more people than Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Specifics are hard to come by, as most governments do not provide full statistics on the number of executions carried out.
Regardless, Amnesty International claims that Iran executed at least 289 people in 2014. Saudi Arabia executed 90 plus people, and the United States executed 35 people.
The criminal convictions that led to the executions remain unknown. Generally speaking, drug convictions have lead to the majority of executions in Iran over the past few years. Iran shares a long eastern border with Afghanistan, the world’s number one producing of poppy, which is used to produce heroin.
In the past, Iranian authorities have cited its on going war against drugs as the reason for its high execution numbers. Other countries, such as Singapore and Indonesia, are also known to execute people for drug related offenses, though far few people are executed in either country
There are concerns that prisoners in Iran are denied access to an impartial and fair legal system. The World Justice Project ranks Iran’s justice system at only 88 out of 102 ranked countries. In regards to criminal justice, Iran does better at 60th, but this low ranking suggests that much work remains to be done in order to improve the country’s justice system.