In the 200 days since the start of the nationwide protests, at least 537 people have been killed by state forces according to Iran Human Rights records. The majority were killed in the first months of protests. The Islamic Republic has also executed four protesters after show trials and without due process, which were met with a strong backlash by the international community. However, in the same time period, at least 309 people were executed across Iran which the international community has failed to react to. Of those, 180 were executed for drug-related charges.
Death penalty as a tool of intimidation
Emphasising that the Islamic Republic uses the death penalty as a tool of intimidation, Iran Human Rights considers the significant rise in execution numbers during the nationwide protests to be in line with this.
Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “International attention and backlash to the execution of protesters increased the political cost of these executions for the Islamic Republic but it wasn’t enough to stop its execution and killing machine. To intimidate and create societal fear, executions for non-political crimes were intensified. Now, the international community’s lack of reaction to the daily executions in Iran can lead to an unprecedented wave of executions of those charged with drug offences, the low-cost victims of the Islamic Republic’s execution machine.”
According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, at least 537 people including 48 women and 68 children have been killed by security forces since the start of the nationwide protests 200 days ago. The aforementioned numbers only relate to protests on the streets. The protesters executed and those that have died under suspicious circumstances (include alleged suicides) shortly after release, are not included in these statistics.
At least 16 others have been killed from January-March 2023. Some were those injured in previous months’ protests who succumbed to their injuries.
There was a spike in executions for non-political crimes in the weeks after the start of the nationwide protests. In the last three and half months of 2023, at least 164 people, including two protesters, were executed in Iran. This trend continued into 2023, with at least 145 people, including two protesters, executed in the first three months of the year.
Death Toll by Province
Protesters have been killed in 25 provinces, with the most reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Western Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Tehran and Mazandaran respectively. Deaths have been recorded in 26 provinces: Sistan and Baluchistan: 134 people; Tehran: 69 people; Kurdistan: 57 people; West Azerbaijan: 56 people; Mazandaran: 41 people; Alborz: 31 people; Gilan: 28 people; Kermanshah: 24 people; Isfahan: 19 people; Khuzestan: 17 people; Fars: 15 people; Khorasan-Razavi: 9 people; East Azerbaijan: 5 people; Qazvin: 5 people; Zanjan: 3 people; Lorestan: 3 people; Markazi: 3 people; Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad: 3 people; Hamedan: 2 people; Ardabil: 2 people; Ilam: 2 people; Bushehr: 2 people; Hormozgan: 2 people; Golestan: 2 people; Semnan: 1 person; North Khorasan: 1 person. Crucial to note: Iran Human Rights started researching and recording protester deaths from the outset of protests. In the course of research and as new information is obtained, the data will be adjusted accordingly. As such, it is reflected in the change in province numbers. The number of protesters killed are an absolute minimum and do not include security forces.