GENEVA, Jan 10 (Reuters) – 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. (Reporting by Emma Farge Editing by Madeline Chambers)
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