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Iran's 'alarming' execution rate

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Iran executed more than 250 people, including at least four children, in 2020, said United Nations independent investigator and Brunel Law School professor, Javaid Rehman. 

So far this year the state has executed 230 including nine women and a child who was executed in secret, he told the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee.   

Iran uses the death penalty “at an alarming rate,” he said on Monday, adding “the absence of official statistics and lack of transparency means this practice escapes scrutiny resulting in serious abuses preventing accountability.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights said his fourth annual report underlines serious concerns over Iran’s grounds for using the death penalty, such as “vague national security charges.” Iran also has “deeply flawed judicial processes, where even the most basic safeguards are absent,” he said.

“These elements, and the heavy reliance by courts on forced confessions extracted under torture and other fair trial violations lead me to conclude that the imposition of the death penalty in the Islamic Republic of Iran constitutes arbitrary deprivation of life,” said Prof Rehman. 

The professor of human rights and Islamic law called it “imperative” for Iran to reform its criminal law and justice, starting “urgently” with a moratorium on the death penalty for child offenders. 

Prof Rehman’s human rights teaching at Brunel Law School features Iranian and other nations’ state practices on the death penalty. 

Watch the committee webcast here (at 1:18)

Reported by:

Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268176
hayley.jarvis@brunel.ac.uk