The entire adult male population of a village in southern Iran has been executed for drug offences, according to Iran’s vice-president for women and family affairs.
The matter came to light earlier this week after Shahindokht Molaverdi revealed it during an interview with the semi-official Mehr news agency in rare comments from a senior government official highlighting the country’s high rate of executions of drug traffickers.
“We have a village in Sistan and Baluchestan province where every single man has been executed,” she said, without naming the place or clarifying whether the executions took place at the same time or over a longer period. “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families. There is no support for these people.”
Molaverdi said the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has brought back previously axed family support programmes as part of the country’s national development plan. “We believe that if we do not support these people, they will be prone to crime, that’s why the society is responsible for the families of those executed,” she said.
According to Amnesty International, Iran remains a prolific executioner, second only to China. In 2014, at least 753 people were hanged in Iran, of whom more than half were drug offenders. In 2015, Amnesty said it had recorded “a staggering execution rate” in the Islamic republic, “with nearly 700 people put to death in the first half of the year alone”.
Maya Foa, from the anti-death penalty campaigning group Reprieve, said: “The apparent hanging of every man in one Iranian village demonstrates the astonishing scale of Iran’s execution spree. These executions – often based on juvenile arrests, torture, and unfair or nonexistent trials – show total contempt for the rule of law, and it is shameful that the UN and its funders are supporting the police forces responsible.”