Iran has one of the highest execution rates globally. Proportional to the population of Iran, the number of Kurdish executions is dramatically high. Kurdish prisoners face unfair trials and are often convicted in proceedings marked by a pattern of abuses including the use of confessions made under torture and the denial of access to a lawyer.
Year in Review (2018)
The data collected by Boroumand Foundation indicates that in 2018 over 252 prisoners were executed in Iran. According to our data – the data collected by the Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva (KMMK-G) – for the same period, at least 61 Kurdish prisoners have been executed in 2018. Nearly a quarter (17 out of 61) of the executions of Kurdish prisoners took place outside Kurdish regions.
At least a quarter of the overall number of executions in Iran belongs to the execution of the Kurds thus far in 2018. In 2017, the execution of the Kurds, which were a total of 71 according to KMMK-G’s data, constituted one fifth of the all executions in Iran. The UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, in its March 2018 report, has also highlighted that “some ethnic minority groups in Iran constitute a disproportionately large percentage of persons executed or imprisoned.” (See A/HRC/37/68, para. 13).
There is also an increase of the number of executions of Kurdish political prisoners. According to KMMK-G’s data the number of executions related to belief and political opinion were 10 in 2017 while this number is thus far 29 in 2018.
In this context, despite a noteworthy decrease in drug-related executions in the country and the fall of the number of the executions as a whole from 500 to 252 in 2018, the Kurdish share of executions is increasing dramatically and disproportionally.