Fact Sheet: Executions in Iran

According to the UN, Iran “continues … to execute more individuals per capita than any other country in the world” and executions “have been rising at an exponential rate since 2005.” Not only did Iran commit a “shocking” total of 753 executions in 2014, but potentially carried out more than 1,000 executions in 2015, an average of about 3 executions a day.

UANI has assembled the following facts and figures about Iran’s use and abuse of capital punishment:

Execution in Iran: 2005-2015Executions in Iran: 2005-2015Source: Iran Human Rights
Global Rankings

#1 Executions Per Capita (UN)
Executions of Children and Child Offenders (Amnesty)
Executions Overall (Human Rights Watch)

By The Numbers

957 | Executions in 2015 (IHRDC)
| Executions in 2014 (UN) 


Iran particularly targets ethnic and religious minorities for execution:

* Sunni Muslims[i] * Ahwazi Arabs[iv] * Christian converts[vii]
* Kurds[ii] * Baluchis[v]
* Azerbaijanis[iii] * Baha'i[vi] 

Also targeted for execution:

* Political dissidents[viii] * Woman engaging in self-defense[xi]
* Religious dissidents[ix] * Children and child offenders[xii]
* Homosexuals[x] * Low-level and nonviolent drug offenders[xiii]

Methods of Execution

Iran executes the majority of convicts by hanging within prisons. The regime, however, also regularly carries out executions in public. In 2015, Iran reportedly executed 57 people in public, an average of more than one public execution a week. In many of these cases, the victim is publicly hanged from a construction crane, an especially slow and painful method of execution.

Stoning also continues to be a state-sanctioned form of execution. In December of this year, Iranian media reported that a woman had been sentenced to death by stoning for her alleged involvement in the murder of her husband


[i] Human Rights Watch, “Iran: Halt Execution of 33 Sunnis,” 6/12/2014

[iii] Hurriyet Daily News, “Iran 'secretly executing' Azerbaijani prisoners,” 10/18/2011 

[iv] Human Rights Watch, “Iran: Stop Execution of Ahwazi Arab Political Prisoners,” 1/24/2013

[vi] Bahá’í World News Service, “Documentary shows trial of executed Baha'is,” 10/21/2015

[vii] The Daily Telegraph, “Hanged for being a Christian in Iran,” 10/11/2008

[ix] The Guardian, “Iran executes man for heresy,” 9/29/2014

[x] The Daily Beast, “Iran's New Gay Executions,” 8/12/2014

[xii] Amnesty International, “Iran: The last executioner of children,” 1/1/2011

[xiii] The New York Times, “Iran Criticized for Executing Drug Offenders,” 12/17/2014