In News & Reports

By World Tribune

The human rights group cited “credible reports” that put the true number of executions at 694, compared to the 246 deaths officially declared by authorities in Teheran. China carries out the most executions each year, but Iran puts to death more people per capita than any other country.

 “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,” reported Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program.

“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.

Iran continued the executions through the holy month of Ramadan when Amnesty said at least four people were put to death.

“The use of the death penalty is always abhorrent, but it raises additional concerns in a country like Iran, where trials are blatantly unfair,” Boumedouha said.

United Nations special rapporteur on Iran Ahmed Shaheed noted that 753 people were executed in 2014, a 12-year high.

Shaheed said most of the executions were for drug-related crimes, as well as adultery, sodomy and “vaguely worded national security offenses.”

Amnesty said Iran is disregarding international legal standards, which permit the death penalty only for the “most serious crimes.”

In June, Atena Daemi, an anti-death-penalty activist who was said to be carrying out peaceful protests, was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Photo: An Iranian official prepares a noose for the execution of a convicted man.

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