7/23/15, "Iran executions see 'unprecedented spike' - Amnesty," BBC
"There has been an "unprecedented spike" in the number of executions in Iran, Amnesty International has warned.
The rights group said
it believed 694 people were killed between 1 January and 15 July,
almost three times the figure acknowledged by the authorities.
It said credible reports suggested Iran executed at least 743 people in 2014.
said the surge was disturbing as the death sentences were invariably
imposed by courts "completely lacking in independence and impartiality".
are imposed either for vaguely worded or overly broad offences, or acts
that should not be criminalised at all, let alone attract the death
penalty," it added.
"Trials in Iran are deeply flawed, detainees
are often denied access to lawyers, and there are inadequate procedures
for appeal, pardon and commutation."
'Climate of fear'
of 15 July 2015, the Iranian authorities had officially acknowledged
246 judicial executions this year but Amnesty International said it had
received reports of a further 448 executions.
If confirmed, that would be the equivalent to more than three a day.
2014, 289 people were executed according to official sources but
reports suggested that the real figure was at least 743, the group
"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," said Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty's Middle East
and North Africa programme....
Among those executed are members of ethnic and religious minorities
convicted of "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth", including
Kurdish political prisoners and Sunni Muslims.
Amnesty said that
several thousand people were believed to be on death row on Iran. In
many cases, they are notified that they will be executed only a few
hours beforehand. The families of those executed are sometimes informed
days, if not weeks, later."