Unprecedented wave of executions in the Islamic Republic. Iran executed six people on Monday bringing the number of executions since the beginning of 2011 to 64, an average of one person every nine hours.
It was reported that among those executed were two activists who were members of an exiled group that joined post-election protests. The Tehran prosecutor's office named the two as Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghaei. In addition, those executed included three men accused of sexual assault and a serial killer who was sentenced to a public flogging.
Besides drug charges, the Iranian constitution gives out a death sentence for murder, rape, adultery, armed robbery and espionage. Most of the citizens executed since the beginning of the year were convicted of drug offences. Just last week, ten drug smugglers were executed. National media outlets reported that the ten were flogged and fined before they were killed.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran accused the regime's security forces of participating in an "execution celebration" though Tehran claims that they stiffened drug offence sentences in a bid to cope with the phenomenon.
The regime's critics claim that the fact that drug use and trafficking - especially among the younger sectors in the population - is expanding proves that the death sentence policy has failed. They called on the Republic to end its cruel execution policy.
Iran is considered the country with the highest rate of executions in the world, relative to the population, and ranked second after China, in the number of annual executions. Last year, at least 180 people were executed in Iran.
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