MEK- Iran Responsible for Half of World’s Executions
On May 14th, MEK’s website reported on Iran’s record of executions. The article referenced a report by Amnesty International, that said that Iran is responsible for 51% of executions worldwide. Even these numbers do not account for all of the executions in Iran because executions of political prisoners, opposition members, and protesters were not counted.
Amnesty International provided numbers from four prisons in Iran. These figures paint a shocking picture of the human rights crisis in Iran, under its ruling regime.
Rajaie Shahr (Gohardasht Karaj) Prison
86 inmates, or one-third of the 264 prisoners held in Ward 10 of this prison, are on death row. The youth ward, Ward 3, has 180 inmates, of whom 80 have been sentenced to death. All of the inmates Ward 3 are under the age of 25, and many were under 18 when they were arrested. Ward 3 has 120 of its 210 inmates on death row. Ward 2 has 160 inmates, 120 of whom have been sentenced to death.
Qezel Hessar Prison
1,000 death row inmates are held in Unit 2 of this prison. Its death row inmates have been convicted of either murder or drug charges.
113 inmates of Wards 1-4 are on death row. Wards 1 and 2 are designated for inmates suffering from mental illness. Eight of these inmates are on death row. Ward 12 houses another three death row inmates. Ward 15, which is designated for those convicted of drug offenses, has six inmates awaiting the death penalty. The Youth Ward at Urmia has six death row inmates.
136 inmates are on death row in this notorious prison, where they are held in appalling conditions, often waiting for years for their sentences to be carried out. Death row inmates include drug offenders and political prisoners. Ward 4 houses 24 death row inmates, who received their sentences primarily for drug offenses, murder, and affiliations with political groups. Another 21 inmates are held in Wards 1 and 3.
The Amnesty International report only covers four Iranian prisons and does not include the many political prisoners who are executed each year. In the summer of 1988 alone, 30,000 political prisoners were executed by the regime, many of the members of the MEK. To date, over 120,000 people have been executed by the Iranian regime for political reasons.
Drug offenses are punishable by death in Iran. In 2014, Iranian regime parliament speaker Ali Larijani was quoted in the state-run Mashreq daily as saying, “Nearly 80% of all executions in Iran are due to this country’s intense fight against narcotics.”
It is worth noting that drug smuggling in Iran is controlled by a variety of military, intelligence, and diplomatic agencies, most notably the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Quds Force. These entities traffic drugs across Iran and also internationally, netting billions of dollars from the practice. The IRGC uses its power and authority to bypass security and smuggles drugs.
As a wealthy nation, it makes no sense for Iran to lead the world in executions. Countries rich in resources and wealth rarely lower themselves to executions on this level. Unfortunately, 80-90% of the citizens of this wealthy nation live in poverty, creating an unequal class system which contributes to the large-scale unrest among the people of Iran. The motive for the regime’s excessive use of the death penalty is to suppress the people and prevent them from rising up and demanding change. The regime has established a climate of fear to prevent change from taking place. This is how the regime has remained in place to date, but the people have begun to rise up in spite of these threats to demand regime change.