The Iranian regime executed four people in one prison on October 29, showing yet again that they have a major contempt for universal principles of human rights. The previous day, in a different prison, they hanged a prisoner who’d previously been subjected to mock execution at least twice, which is a common example of psychological torture in Iran’s prisons.
The reason for increased executions is the fear of public protests, which has been a constant fear since 2017 when a national uprising threatened to unseat the regime. Two uprisings followed in 2018 and 2019, growing in size and scale.
Iranian authorities responded with violence, hoping to scare the people into submission, shooting dead 1,500 protesters in the street over a few days during the third and largest uprising last November.
The regime has not admitted to the large scale murders, but the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has used its established intelligence network to identify the dead. Murderers, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Basij paramilitary forces, and State Security Forces (SSF) have never been held to account.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) urged “the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, relevant special rapporteurs, and all international human rights organizations to immediately act to stop torture and executions in Iran and to submit the dossier of the Iranian regime’s cruel and systematic human rights violations to the UN Security Council”.
It would be shocking that Iranian authorities were not held to account if it wasn’t something that had happened time and time again throughout the last 40 years. In 1988, they executed 30,000 political prisoners and were never held to account, despite a campaign by the Iranian Resistance, meaning that the perpetrators were left to carry out more atrocities.
This set of four executions would be a small cause for international action, but taken in context, it is obvious that failing to act will result in hundreds of thousands more deaths.
“There must come a time when the accumulated death toll in Iran becomes too much to bear for foreign governments that see themselves as global defenders of human rights. In other words, the international community should act rather than waiting for the next instance of the regime attempting to stamp out dissent en masse,” the NCRI stated.
Unless Tehran is given strong disincentives, another such large-scale crackdown is all but inevitable. Regime authorities themselves have left little doubt about this, insofar as they have been warning one another for the past three years about the looming threat of further public unrest,” the statement concluded.