Amnesty slams Iran for executing 700 people this year

London, July 23 (IANS/EFE) Amnesty International on Thursday condemned the Iranian government for having executed 694 people since the start of 2015.

"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 International's Middle East and North Africa programme.

"If Iran's authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate, we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year-end," he added.

According to Bouedouha, the Iranian authorities should be "ashamed of executing hundreds of people with complete disregard for the basic safeguards of due process".

"The use of the death penalty is always abhorrent, but it raises additional concerns in a country like Iran where trials are blatantly unfair," he said.

The activist said the executions did not even stop in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when at least four prisoners were killed.

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