Iran Human Rights (IHR) – Younes Totazehi and Abdullah Totazehi, two Baluch men who were on death row for drug-related charges, have been executed in Birjand Central Prison.
According to the Baluch Activists Campaign, two Baluch men were executed in Birjand Central Prison yesterday morning. Younes and Abdullah Totazehi, both Zahedan natives and uncle and nephew, were sentenced to death on drug-related charges.
The report states that the two men had been ambushed by anti-narcotics forces in a Birjand side road in 2019 and had clashed with them.
According to Rasanak, which reports on news from Sistan and Baluchestan, their companion Abdolghias Totazehi was killed during the clash and Younes and Abdullah were arrested.
At the time of writing, their executions have not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.
It has been almost four years since an Article was added to the Anti-Narcotics Law in 2017 to limit death sentences specifically and provide a general degree of reprieve in some cases. However, while the numbers reduced that year, the death penalty is still being used in drug-related cases.
According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 25 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2020. In 2021, at least 29 people have so far been executed on drug-related charges. On May 3, IHR published a report on the death penalty in the first four months of 2021 expressing concern at the significant increase in the number of drug-related executions and continues to warn of the continuation of this trend.
The wave of executions of Baluch citizens which began in late 2020 has also continued, with at least 21 Baluch prisoners having been executed so far in 2021.