Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

Abolish the death penalty


The number of executions in Iran has risen sharply during the last year. Many of those executed were convicted of drug-related offences. Others were political prisoners, convicted of “enmity against God”. Of the 252 officially acknowledged executions in 2010, only 15 were for murder. International standards call for the use of the death penalty to be restricted to intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences.

Detainees in Iran are often held for lengthy periods before their trial, during which they are at grave risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Trials are generally unfair. Court proceedings – particularly those held outside the capital Tehran – are often summary, lasting only a few minutes.

Those convicted of drug offences are denied the right to appeal to a higher tribunal.

We are calling for Iran to suspend the use of the death penalty and urge the authorities to respect international law and standards and protect the rights of those facing the death penalty.

Watch out for future actions to end the death penalty in Iran.

Learn more about Death penalty »

When Amnesty International was created in 1961, only nine countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes. At the start of 2011, that number had risen to 96 countries.

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