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With 1,000 put to death in 2015, Iran one of top executioners

RIYADH: Iran may have executed over 1,000 people in 2015, according to the London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International.
“Iran executed about 700 people in the first six months of 2015, an average of three people every day and the final execution count might top 1,000 by the end of the just concluded year,” according to the report.
People were executed for drug trafficking but there were also some from ethnic and religious minorities killed for “fighting against religion” and “corruption on the earth.” There were 743 people executed in 2014, amnesty said.
Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said: “Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of 2015 paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially sanctioned killings on a mass scale.”
“If the Iranian authorities maintain the horrifying execution rate we are likely to see the figure crossing the 1,000 mark by the year’s end,” Boumedouha had added late last year. “It raises additional concerns in a country like Iran where trials are blatantly unfair.”
Among those sent to the gallows include clerics and activists from the Sunni minority including Shahram Ahadi. His younger brother, Bahram Ahmadi, was executed in 2012 along with five other Sunni clerics.
Moreover, Tehran executed Rehana Jabbari in October 2014 despite an international campaign urging for a reprieve, which was described as a “travesty” by Amnesty International.
Jabbari, 26, was hanged for killing a former intelligence ministry officer who, she said, tried to sexually abuse her.
Tehran has rejected the figures, saying it executed 247 people in 2015 and 289 in 2014. The differences, according to Amnesty is that the Iranian authorities refuse to acknowledge all the executions they carried out.
“Each year the Iranian authorities acknowledge a certain number of judicial executions, however, many more executions are carried out but not acknowledged and the real number of those sent to the gallows far exceeds the official count,” said the Amnesty website.
Amnesty further believes that “several thousand” people are currently on death row in Iran. China carries out more executions a year than Iran, according to Amnesty. However, in terms of executions per capita, Iran, with a population of around 77 million, has the highest rate of executions in the world, according to the human rights watchdog.

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