Skip to main content


Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 25 March 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of executions in Iran; and what representations they have made to the United Nations on this issue. [HL2253]

The UK has serious concerns about the growing number of executions taking place in Iran and the continued use of the death penalty, especially for minors. We oppose the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. The rate of executions has grown year-on-year since 2005. There were more than 300 executions in 2007 and 318 in 2008. Iran has so far executed at least 60 people this year alone, including one juvenile.

We continue to take all available opportunities, bilaterally and through the EU, to make clear to the Iranian authorities our concerns about human rights abuses, and Iran's use of capital punishment in particular. We have raised concerns about the overall use of the death penalty in Iran, and individual death penalty cases, with the Iranian authorities at least six times this year, bilaterally and through the EU. In December 2008 we co-sponsored a resolution on Iran's human rights situation in the UN General Assembly. The resolution expresses deep concern at “the continuing high incidence of executions carried out in the absence of internationally recognised safeguards, including public executions of juveniles”. We also raised our concerns in our statement to the Human Rights Council in March 2009.