Iranian executions condemned by UN Human Rights chief

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UN Photo/Martine Perret

The executions of 20 people in Iran over the past week have been condemned as a "grave injustice" by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said on Friday that he "deplored" the executions, which were purportedly carried out for terrorism-related offences.

Matthew Wells reports.

Zeid said that reports suggested the executed men were mostly, if not all, members of the same minority group: Sunni Muslims from the Kurdish community.

He said in many cases there were "serious doubts about the fairness of the trials, respects for due process and other rights of the accused."

He added that one of the men hanged on Thursday had been beaten and coerced into signing a false confession statement.

The human rights chief said there had been clear "disdain for the rights of the accused to due process and a fair trial" on the part of Iranian authorities.

He also condemned the execution last month of a 19-year-old convicted of rape, who was 17 at the time of his arrest," saying that the execution of juvenile offenders was "particularly abhorrent."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 40"

Filed under Today's News.
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