Delivered by Ambassador Shara DUNCAN VILLALOBOS
I deliver this statement on behalf of 53 Member States.
We would like to thank the Fact-Finding Mission for their update.
We are particularly concerned by the reports of the ongoing surge of executions in Iran and the authorities’ use of the death penalty as a tool to chill dissent.
Iran has been carrying out death sentences at an alarming pace, with over 300 executions reported since the beginning of 2023, and 582 last year compared to 333 in 2021.
Many of these executions are for alleged offences that do not meet the threshold of “the most serious crimes” under the ICCPR, including drug offenses. Seven were in connection to the protest movement following the death in custody of Jina Mahsa Amini.
We strongly condemn the execution of three alleged child offenders in 2022 and are deeply concerned that dozens of alleged child offenders remain on death row, at risk of execution.
Persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities are being executed at disproportionately high rates; one-third of those executed in 2022 belonged to the Baloch minority.
We remain deeply troubled by reports that death sentences are often imposed following unfair trials procedures, without due process, and based on forced confessions obtained through torture and other inhuman treatment.
We urge Iran to immediately cease its violations, respect human dignity and cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms. We note calls by the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Procedures for Iran to “establish an immediate moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty”.