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Capital Punishment in Iran: 2014

IHRDC’s final update of its chart of executions carried out by the Iranian government last year counts 721 executions in 2014. This infographic highlights some of the available information on this record and the 721 individuals who were put to death. Iran is regularly first in the world in executions per capita. Among these 721 executions, 353—nearly half—were reportedly for drug trafficking. This is despite the fact that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) establishes that the death penalty may only be used for “the most serious crimes”, and international legal experts including a United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions have stated that drug-related offenses are not in this category. Iranian law envisions the use of capital punishment for a wide variety of crimes, including armed robbery, drug trafficking, and sodomy.

While looking at these numbers, it is important to remember that there have been hundreds of reports of violations of due process in Iran, including denial of access to counsel and minimum fair trial rights as defined by the ICCPR.

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