Iran carried out the execution of two men who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy, the country announced on Monday, May 8.
Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare were put to death at the Arak jail in central Iran, as reported by the judiciary’s news website, Mizan.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom stated that the men were detained in May 2020 on suspicion of involvement in criticizing the Superstition and Religion Telegram channel.
The commission further revealed that both individuals were held in solitary confinement for several months without any contact with their family members.
Mizan confirmed on Monday that the two men operated numerous websites promoting atheism, Islamophobia, and other anti-religious perspectives.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights, described the executions as a display of the “medieval nature” of the theocratic regime in Iran.
Reacting to their deaths, he emphasized the importance of international condemnation, stating, “The international community must show with its reaction that executions for expressing an opinion are intolerable. The refusal of the international community to react decisively is a green light for the Iranian government and like-minded people around the world.”
According to Iran Human Rights, the country executed at least 582 individuals in 2022, a significant increase from 333 in 2021. Amnesty International’s most recent assessment on executions ranked Iran as the world’s second-largest executioner, trailing behind China, which reportedly carries out thousands of executions annually.