According to the Balochistan Human Rights Group, Amnesty International’s annual report on executions worldwide, released on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, stated that the increase in executions in Iran led to the highest number of executions in a decade in 2023, with the majority of those executed being Baloch citizens.

The report indicates that a total of 1,153 executions were carried out in 2023, not including thousands believed to have occurred in China, marking a more than 30% increase compared to 2022.

According to Amnesty International, the significant rise in recorded executions was primarily due to Iran. Agn├Ęs Callamard, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, stated that Iranian authorities showed complete disregard for human life, intensifying executions for drug-related crimes, disproportionately affecting the most marginalized and poorest segments of Iran.

The five countries with the highest number of executions in 2023 are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and the United States. Iran, with at least 853 executions, accounted for 74% of the recorded executions. Following Iran, Saudi Arabia conducted 172 executions, accounting for 15% of the total. Additionally, Somalia carried out at least 38 executions, and the United States conducted 24 executions in 2023.

In the Middle East, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq were the top three executing countries in 2023, accounting for 97% of all recorded executions in the region: Iran 80%, Saudi Arabia 16%, and Iraq 1%.

Amnesty International’s report notes that in Iran, the authorities used executions to instill fear and tighten control over power. In 2023, at least 853 people were executed in Iran, representing a 48% increase from 576 in 2022.

These executions disproportionately affected the ethnic Baloch minority in Iran, who accounted for 20% of the recorded executions while making up about 5% of Iran’s population. At least 24 women and at least five individuals who were minors at the time of the crime were executed in Iran.

In 2023, at least 184 Baloch prisoners were executed on various charges in 26 different cities across Iran, with Zahedan and Birjand prisons having the highest numbers, with 54 and 31 executions, respectively. Among these prisoners, at least four were women.

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