Iran Executes Three Convicts of Zahedan Bombing

Iran executed three people who were convicted of carrying out suicide bombing attacks on security forces in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, on Monday, November 13. The convicts, executed by hanging, according to Iranian authorities, were connected to the Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni militant group. 

Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan chief justice, Ali Mostafavinia, told IRNA that the three men were executed for joining and cooperating with the militant group Jaish al-Adl. They confessed to receiving military training, transferring and hiding bomb-making materials, and participating in five bombing attacks, including two on Zahedan’s Enghelab Boulevard on February 13, 2019, which killed at least 27 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), one unsuccessful bombing in Zabul, and two on a police station in Zahedan.

Jaish al-Adl, a militant group founded in 2012 by Salahuddin Farooqui, who opposed Iran’s support for Syria’s civil war. Based in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, Jaish al-Adl has claimed responsibility for dozens of deadly attacks on Iranian security forces, including bombings, ambushes, and other forms of violence. In February 2019, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a bus transporting members of IRGC in southern Iran, killing at least 27 of its members. A month earlier, the group claimed responsibility for a double bombing in Zahedan, the provincial capital, which wounded three Iranian police officers.

Iranian news outlets reported on Monday, November 13, that one Iranian border guard was killed and two others were wounded in a clash with a terrorist group at the Savaran border crossing in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan. Earlier this year, at least five Iranian guards were reportedly killed in the same area.

Iran, one of the countries with the highest rates of capital punishment in the world, has executed hundreds of people in recent decades for a variety of crimes, including drug offenses, national security concerns, and participation in anti-government protests. Iran is also one of the few countries that executes juvenile offenders, despite international law prohibiting the death penalty for people under 18 at the time of the crime. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that the Iranian authorities executed 565 people in 2022, including 5 minors. According to a Voice of America (VOA) report, Iran has executed at least 354 people in the first six months of 2023, a 36% increase from the same period in 2022.

A report by Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based organization, found that ethnic minorities in Iran have been disproportionately targeted by recent executions. The group said that 130 people were executed in four provinces with significant ethnic minority populations in 2022, more than double the number executed in those provinces in 2021 and 2020.

Human rights groups have condemned the Iranian government for carrying out a wave of executions that they say is politically motivated. The groups say that the government is using the death penalty to silence dissent and intimidate the population. Amnesty International has stated that the death penalty, in all cases without exception, is a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.