|Darkness at Noon: Public Hanging in Iran|
Iran is thought to have executed nearly 700 people in the first half of 2015, according to reports compiled by Amnesty International that far exceed the 246 deaths officially declared by authorities in Tehran.
The human rights charity says “credible reports” put the true toll for the period up to 15 July at 694 people, the equivalent of three executions a day, and nearly as many as were put to death in Iran in the whole of 2014.
Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme, said: “Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale.
“If Iran’s authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year’s end.
“The use of the death penalty is always abhorrent, but it raises additional concerns in a country like Iran, where trials are blatantly unfair.”
Even during the month of Ramadan, when executions are usually suspended, Amnesty reports at least four people were put to death.
According to a report published in March by Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on Iran, at least 753 people were executed in 2014, a 12-year high.
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Source: The Guardian, Claire Phipps, July 23, 2015
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