Executions Spike While Governments Struggle To Keep Pace With Human Rights Sanctions

Canada, EU, And U.K. Actions Fall Short In Holding IRGC Accountable

(New York, N.Y.)An alarming spike in Iran’s executions this year has drawn alarm and condemnation from human rights observers, who reported this week that the Islamic Republic has executed more than 200 people so far this year, including 64 in the last 12 days alone. Last week, Iran executed ten prisoners in a single day, nearly half of whom were imprisoned for drug-related charges.

That is not to mention that Tehran executed Habib Chaab, an Iranian-Swedish dual-national who was kidnapped in Turkey in a plot hatched by Iranian security services. This is the second dual-national executed this year alone—a disturbing trend as the last such execution took place in the 1980s.

In a rare move that portends an even more sinister turn for the Iranian regime, two men convicted of “blasphemy” were hanged this week for their role in spreading messages critiquing “Superstition and Religion.” The prisoners’ executions, which follow months of solitary confinement and inability to contact family members, send a chilling message to the Iranian people that have been under siege from their own government. More than 500 people, including 71 children, have been killed by Iranian forces since September 2022.  

To read United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s resource, Cruel and Inhuman: Executions and Other Barbarities in Iran’s Judicial System, please click here. 

To read UANI’s resource Iran’s War on Protesters, please click here. 

The rise in Iran’s executions come as the U.S. Treasury Department imposes fresh sanctions on four Iranian law enforcement, military, and cybersecurity officials for the brutal crackdown on Iranian citizens protesting the continued rule of the Iranian regime. Additionally, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the MAHSA Act last month. This bipartisan legislation would require the executive branch to add sanctions on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as President Ebrahim Raisi and the IRGC for human rights abuses and support for terrorism.  

While these are welcome steps, the U.S., however, has yet to apply human rights sanctions against 150 individuals and entities designated the EU, 82 by the U.K., 55 by Canada, and 20 by Australia. Similarly, the EU, U.K., Canada, and Australia are also unaligned with each other and with the U.S., leaving critical gaps in human rights sanctions. 

“Iran is showing the world what happens when champions for human rights fail to act decisively,” said UANI Senior Advisor and Iran Hostage Crisis survivor Barry Rosen. “The recent spike in executions, the hundreds of Iranian citizens murdered in recent months, and the continued nightmare being endured by more than two dozen hostages and their families are a testament to the sheer brutality of this regime. Much more can and should be done – particularly outside the U.S. – to stop this unconscionable brutality.”  

To read UANI’s resource IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), please click here. 

To view UANI’s Iran Human Rights Sanctions Tracker, please click here.