Thursday , 30 May 2024

Mohammad Afghan and Houshang Nourollahi Executed in Gorgan

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) – An Afghan national named Mohammad Afghan and Houshang Nourollahi Younjalu were executed for drug-related charges in Gorgan Central Prison. Mohammad Afghan’s mother was denied permission to visit her son for the last time.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Gorgan Central Prison on 8 May. Their identities have been established as Houshang Nourollahi Younjalu and Mohammad Afghan, a 28-year-old Afghan national. They were sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “Houshang Nourollahi was from Ardabil and was arrested for drug charges two years ago. Mohammad had come to Iran with his parents as a teenager but his father died of illness. His mother wasn’t permitted to visit her son for the last time.”

At the time of writing, their executions have not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

It is important to note that Afghan nationals constitute the largest group of non-Iranian executions and death row cases in Iranian prisons. The number of their executions have been steadily rising since the Taliban takeover in 2021. At least five Afghan nationals were executed in 2021 which more than tripled in 2022, with 16 Afghan nationals including a juvenile offender and a woman executed. In 2023, at least 25 Afghans were executed, a 56% rise compared to the previous year. Mohammad Afghan is the 13th Afghan national executed in 2024.

Drug-related executions have continuously risen every year since 2021. According to IHRNGO’s 2023 Annual Report on the Death Penalty, at least 471 people were executed for drug-related charges, an 84% increase compared to 2022 (256) and about 18 times the average of drug-related executions in 2018-2020.

On 10 April 2024, 80+ Iranian and international organisations and groups called for joint action to stop drug-related executions, urging UNODC to make “any cooperation with the Islamic Republic contingent on a complete halt on drug-related executions.”