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Iran Ranks First in Death Penalty Cases Worldwide | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People protest against executions and human rights violations in Iran on a square near the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

London – Iran Human Rights (IHR) – an Oslo-based non-profit, human rights organization with members inside and outside Iran – issued its annual report on the death penalty in Iran, showing that in 2016 at least 530 people were executed in the Persian Republic.

The report said that Iran remains in 2016 the country with the highest number of executions per capita.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director and spokesperson of IHR said that on the occasion of the 9th annual report release, the organizations Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM (Ensemble contre la peine de mort) called on Iran’s European dialogue partners to “push for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Iran and for major reforms in the country’s judicial system which does not at this time meet minimum international standards.”

The report stressed the role of Iran’s Revolution Courts, which were established by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, as a “major source of arbitrariness and of violations of due process in the Iranian judicial system”.

“The Revolution Courts are responsible for the vast majority of the death sentences issued and carried out over the last 37 years in Iran,” the report said.

It added that at least 64% of all executions in 2016 and more than 3200 executions since 2010 have been based on death sentences issued by the Revolution Courts.

“The Revolution Courts are less transparent than the Public Courts, and Revolutionary Court judges are known for the abuse of their legal powers,” the report noted.

On the issue of lack of due process Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “A sustainable reduction in the use of the death penalty is impossible as long as there is no due process. Revolution Courts which sentence hundreds of people to death every year are among the key institutions responsible for Iran’s violations of due process and must be shut down.”