Executions in Iran surged to nearly 1,000 in 2015, the highest level in more than a quarter of a century, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Iran reported last week. It is also one of only a few countries that still hangs juvenile offenders.
In Geneva last week, Dr Ahmed Shaheed reported to the UN Human Rights Council that at least 966 people were put to death in Iran last year. That’s roughly double the number executed in 2010 and 10 times as many as were executed in 2005. Most executions in Iran are by hanging, with a majority of the condemned having been convicted of drug-related offenses.
Dr Shaheed underlined that the executions often happen without of the most basic due-process and fair-trial rights, and for ill-defined crimes, such as ‘enmity against God’.
Numerous Christians who have spent time in prison for their faith have met and befriended people on death row. A few have been led to the Lord through their witness. We can pray that many more facing death would hear the hope of the Gospel.