Iranian Families Protest Relatives' Death Sentences

In a rare act of defiance, several families of prisoners who have been handed death sentences protested in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Karaj, near the Iranian capital.

In videos posted on social media on September 6, many of the protesters, identified as relatives of those on death row, held placards saying "Stop executions."

Human rights organizations say the relatives of the demonstrators are imprisoned in prisons in the cities of Karaj and Ghezelhesar.

According to the Iran Human Rights Society, at least 18 prisoners sentenced to death have been transferred to solitary confinement from the Karaj, Minab, and Gohardasht central prisons to different parts of Iran.

As of September 7, at least 388 executions had been recorded in Iran this year, according to the Iran Human Rights Organization.

Some human rights sources, including the Human Rights Activists News Agency, say more than 85 percent of executions in Iran are carried out "in secret and without official and public information."

The rise in the number of executions began in September 2021 after Ebrahim Raisi, a former head of the judiciary, became president and former Intelligence Minister Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei took over the judiciary.

Activists say that Iran is in the throes of a major crackdown as protests continue over living conditions in a severe economic crisis.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda