Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
Iran has been accused of staging a mass execution of 12 prisoners in a grisly hanging.
Sources say the inmates are all from an ethnic and religious minority.
One was a woman who had been convicted of killing her husband.
Six of the inmates are said to have been found guilty of murder and the other six were apparently convicted of drugs-related offences.
NGO sources say they were hanged in the main prison of Zahedan in Sistan and Baluchestan province on the morning of Monday, 6th June.
All 12 were ethnic Baluch people and are believed to have been Sunni Muslims.
According to the latest available data, most Iranians are Persian, while only two per cent are Baluch.
And most Iranians are Shia Muslim while only about nine per cent are Sunni Muslim.
The mass execution was reported by the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR) and was not confirmed by Iranian officials or local media.
The NGO – which is based in Norway – said the woman, whose surname was Gargij, was executed for murdering her husband.
She had been arrested in 2019.
IHR added: “Data gathered by Iran Human Rights shows that Baluch prisoners accounted for 21 percent of all executions in 2021, while only representing 2-6 percent of Iran’s population.”
Amnesty International, in its 2021 report on use of the death penalty worldwide, said of Iran: “Death sentences were used disproportionately against members of ethnic minorities for vague charges such as ‘enmity against God’ and as a tool of political repression.
“At least 19% of the recorded executions (61) were members of the Baluch ethnic minority.”
Iran became the execution capital of the world last year, with 353 death sentences carried out.
In second place was Egypt, at 82.
The figures for Vietnam and North Korea, which both retain capital punishment, are unknown.