United Nations: Iran`s authoritarian regime
has been secretly executing hundreds of prisoners, according
to a new UN report detailing growing rights abuses in the
The mysterious executions at Vakilabad prison in Mashhad
in eastern Iran were highlighted in a report compiled by Ahmed
Shaheed, the new UN special rapporteur on the human rights
situation in Iran.
Shaheed, who assumed responsibility for the mandate on
August 1, billed this as an interim report cataloguing the
most recent trends in the human rights situation in Iran.
The report details a raft of abuses from freedom of
expression to the denial of women`s rights to the torture of
detainees, but perhaps the most shocking data was on the
skyrocketing rate of executions.
The report, obtained by AFP after first appearing on the
Foreign Policy website, said 200 officially announced
executions had taken place in 2011 with at least 83, including
those of three political prisoners, in January alone.
"Furthermore, authorities reportedly conducted more than
300 secret executions at Vakilabad prison in 2010," the report
"Vakilabad officials, in violation of Iranian law,
allegedly carried out the executions without the knowledge or
presence of the inmates` lawyers or families and without prior
notification to those executed," it said.
"It has also been reported that at least 146 secret
executions have taken place to date in 2011."
Shaheed also noted that four per cent of executions
stipulated no charges, 100 juveniles on death row, and more
than 100 executions this year alone for drug-related offenses.
Human Rights Watch counted 388 executions in Iran in
2010, while Amnesty International put the figure at 252,
ranking the Islamic republic second only to China in the
number of people put to death last year.
Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain
law and order, and that it is applied only after exhaustive
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and
adultery are among the crimes punishable by death in Iran.