Iran’s High Volume of Executions

Iran is likely the world’s second-most prolific user of the death penalty.

January 14, 2016

Iran is likely the world’s second-most prolific user of the death penalty.

1. Carrying out at least 289 executions in 2014 – ranking second in the world – Iran uses the death penalty more than any other country except China.

2. Iran executes people in part to punish violations of personal morality laws, such as rape and adultery.

3. Iran also executed people for politically motivated offenses such as terrorism and treason.

4. Together, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia carried out almost 90% of the confirmed executions in the Middle East North Africa region in 2014

5. The three countries made 72% of the 607 confirmed executions worldwide in 2014.

6. This number excludes executions that took place in countries where this information is classified or otherwise impossible to verify.

7. China is believed to lead the world in annual executions, but government secrecy veils the exact number. China is estimated to execute thousands of prisoners each year.

8. Iran and the other 20 countries that executed prisoners in 2014 are an ever-shrinking group.

9. As of July 2015, 101 countries had abolished the use of capital punishment in law for all crimes — up from just 59 countries in 1995.

10. Another 42 countries have abolished the death penalty in practice — by limiting its use to exceptional and rare circumstances (such as crimes under military law) or by not having carried out an execution in the last 10 years.

Sources: Amnesty International and The Globalist Research Center

Takeaways

Iran uses the death penalty more than any other country except China.

Iran executes people in part to punish violations of personal morality laws.

As of July 2015, 101 countries had abolished the use of capital punishment in law for all crimes.