Executions Continue in Iran
Following the election of Hassan Rouhani as president, several prominent political prisoners including lawyers, journalists and activists have been freed as part of a charm offensive towards the international community aimed at ending Iran’s isolation and easing sanctions imposed by the west to curb its nuclear program.
Rouhani’s style marks a departure from the hard-line approach of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but Kurdish activists question whether there is any substance to his message.
A drop in the number of executions in Iran in 2012, compared to the previous year, sparked hope that the Iranian authorities were making an effort not to resort so often to the death penalty. But 2013 has again seen a sharp rise in the number of executions in Iran.
The Iranian authorities have officially acknowledged 304 executions during 2013 but reliable sources have reported at least 234 additional unacknowledged executions during the year. Under Rouhani’s ruling, 224 people have been executed so far and during only one week 37 people who were mostly Kurds, have been put to death.