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Press releases Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Iran: Sharp spike in use of death penalty

24 January 2024

Delivered by

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk

Location

Geneva

I am alarmed by the sharp spike in the use of the death penalty in Iran, including the executions of two men on 23 January. At least 54 people have reportedly been put to death in the country so far this year. The death penalty is not consistent with the most fundamental of rights – the right to life. This practice must be stopped immediately.

Mohammed Ghobadlou became the ninth person yesterday to be executed in connection to the 2022 protests. Farhad Salimi, a Kurdish man, was executed on the same day after spending 14 years in jail.

The right to due process and a fair trial for all defendants must be adhered to. I am also deeply disturbed by reports of forced confessions obtained under duress. Such confessions should not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings.

I urge the government of Iran to enact an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty, with a view to abolishing the practice altogether. There is growing consensus for universal abolition of capital punishment. Close to three quarters of the countries in the world have already abolished or introduced a moratorium on the death penalty either in law or in practice. I implore the Iranian authorities to follow suit.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected]
Jeremy Laurence +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected]

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