Executions surge in Iran despite calls for a moratorium on the death sentence

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The Iranian government has been accused of executing prisoners at a staggering rate, despite serious questions about fair trial standards.

This year, at least 176 people have reportedly been hanged in Iran for drug related offences, which a group of United Nations Human Rights experts say was in violation of international legal provisions limiting the permissibility of capital punishment to the 'most serious' crimes.

The latest prisoner to be executed in Iran is Ms. Farzaneh Moradi, a former child bride, who was sentenced to death for allegedly murdering her husband.

The Human rights experts said the execution of Ms Moradi on March 4, was done without due consideration to her testomony that she was coached into confessing to a crime she did not commit.

The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez, said the execution of Ms Moradi is profoundly unjust in light of an apparent coerced confession.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed said, he was concerned that many death row suspects in Iran are not being granted adequate legal representation and fair trial guarantees.

The experts are calling on the government of Iran to heed to calls by the international community to declare a moratorium on the use of the death sentence.

They expressed shock at recent comments by Iranian officials claiming that executions undertaken by the government were a great service to humanity.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1:34″

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