UN human rights office concerned about executions in Iran

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Ravina Shamdasani

The execution of two Iranians found guilty of what has been described as "ill-defined charges" has been criticized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Office expressed its deep concern about the reported spike in executions in Iran since the beginning of the year.

At least 80 people have been put to death in just over seven weeks.

According to the UN human rights Office, the majority of the executions were for drug-related offences.

It said these offenses don't meet the threshold in international law of "most serious crimes" for which the death penalty may be applied.

Ravina Shamdasani is a spokesperson for the UN human rights office.

"We are especially concerned about the reported execution in secret of Mr Hadi Rashedi and Mr Hashem Sha'bani Amouri, both members of the Ahwaz Arab community. Their executions were reportedly carried out last month, in January, following proceedings that did not meet international fair trial and due process standards, as laid out in the (ICCPR) the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The two men were reportedly sentenced to death on ill-defined charges of "enmity against God, corruption on earth and acts against national security." (29")

Ravina Shamdasani said the two men were allegedly denied access to a lawyer and their families for the first nine months of their detention and tortured to force confessions.

She noted that various UN human rights experts had previously expressed serious concerns about the death sentences and appealed to the government not to carry them out.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'47"


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