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Iran executions amount to “state sanctioned killing“: UN rights chief


The U.N. human rights chief said that the death penalty was being weaponised by Iran’s government to strike fear into the population and stamp out dissent, saying the executions amounted to “state sanctioned killing”.

“The weaponization of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic rights – such as those participating in or organizing demonstrations – amounts to state sanctioned killing,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said in a statement, saying the executions violated international human rights law.

Iran hanged two men on Saturday for allegedly killing a member of the security forces during nationwide protests and more have since been sentenced to death. The U.N. Human Rights office has received information that two further executions are imminent, the statement said.

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Newly appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk attends a news conference at Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland November 2, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

A group of people and clerics from the city of Qom attend a meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran January 9, 2023. Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS.