As Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi run his campaign for the June 18 Presidential election, he still oversees the implementation of death sentences against prisoners. In this context, authorities hanged at least eleven prisoners, including two women, in the prisons of Qazvin, Birjand, Isfahan, and Yazd within one week alone, based on reports provided by the human rights association No to Prison – No to Execution.

Execution of a Young Couple

At dawn on May 30, authorities in Iran hanged a young couple in Qazvin Prison, west of Tehran. The man was identified as Yousef Pir-Ostovan. However, the female victim’s identification is unclear. It is said that they had a cousinhood relationship. They had been kept in prison for around eight years.

According to human rights defenders, the State Security Forces detained them on drug-related charges on the Qazvin-Karaj highway eight years ago. As of this report, authorities have avoided announcing this news.

In 2015, judicial officials allegedly reformed and revised the Penal Code. Since then, Mrs. Pir-Ostoven is the first female prisoner who has been executed on drug-related charges. As of this report, authorities have refused to announce the death penalty. Notably, Mrs. Pir-Ostovan was the 118th woman who was hanged during the ‘moderate’ Hassan Rouhani’s presidency.

Execution of Six Baluch Inmates

Furthermore, at dawn on May 25, Iranian authorities executed six Iranian Baluch inmates at Birjand Prison in the northeastern province of South Khorasan. According to human rights defenders, the prison guards deprived the death-row prisoners of a last visit with their families.

“Thirty-three-year-old Javad Nakhaei, Mohammadreza Harati, Reza Azarian, Ruhollah Riggi, Alireza Farsi, and Reza As’adi were identified,” reported the Campaign of Baluchi Human Rights Defenders. The government had already convicted these inmates on drug-related charges. As of this report, the state-run media has yet to announce the executions.

Execution of Two Inmates in Isfahan Prison

Also, authorities secretly hanged two inmates at Isfahan Central Prison on May 24. According to human rights activists, the executed inmates were Kianoush Ali-Moradi, 50, and Ahmad-Ali Ghodrati. The government had accused them of drug-related charges.

Mr. Ali-Moradi was married and had several children. However, the Judiciary mercilessly executed him pushing his impoverished widow and orphans to enormous dilemmas in various aspects.

Execution of a Woman for IRGC Member’s Sake

On May 23, authorities hanged 41-year-old female prisoner Kobra Fatemi for murdering her husband. She was considered as the 117th woman who was executed during Rouhani’s eight-year tenure in office.

According to the Islamic Republic’s Penal Code, the Fatemis would pay ‘Diya’ [blood money] to the grieving family, sparing their lived one’s life. The victim’s family had initially agreed to accept blood money. However, the victim’s uncle, who was a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), rejected the money, insisting the death penalty be carried out.

Forty-Two Executions in 70 Days

Human rights activists reported the Iranian government had hanged at least 42 inmates since the beginning of the new Persian year on March 21. “Most executions, around 71 percent, are secretly carrying out,” they added.

Meanwhile, authorities still hang inmates on drug-related charges, while according to a new directive issued in 2017, it was supposed that the death penalty is dramatically limited. However, the Judiciary, led by Ebrahim Raisi yet emphasizes issuing and implementing death sentences.

In such circumstances, Judiciary Chief Raisi, who has yet to resign, runs for the June 18 Presidential election. All indicators show that he is the favorite candidate of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which puts a darker situation of human rights in Iran on the horizon.

Moreover, the government has established an international arms smuggling and drug trafficking system, using national resources to carry out such operations. “These groups operating under the influence of Khamenei and managed by the IRGC. Furthermore, the IRGC’s extraterritorial arm Quds Force funds terrorism and regional interventions through sending drugs to the West,” said Iranian dissident Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

In 2007, WikiLeaks revealed a U.S. Embassy report that stated that over 80 percent of global opium and over 28 percent of global heroin were being transported through Iran. In 2011 the Times reported that the IRGC has a huge role in Iran’s “multibillion-pound” drug trafficking and that they’re using this to create a relationship with the “global crime network” to undermine the West.

Aside from China, at least 283 people were executed across the globe in 2020. At least 246 of whom were hanged in Iran, reported Amnesty International.