Daily Israel Report

U.S. Voices Concerns Over Iran Executions

The United States voices concerns about the large number of executions in Iran, after an opposition activist is hanged.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/3/2014, 4:42 AM

Hanging noose
Hanging noose
Thinkstock

The United States on Monday voiced renewed concerns about the large number of executions in Iran, the day after a political prisoner was hanged despite international concern, reported AFP.

The prisoner, Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, was executed after being convicted of "waging war against God" by helping the opposition People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), Iranian state media reported.

The exiled Iranian opposition said he had been jailed just for being a member of the PMOI, and Amnesty International condemned his 2010 trial as unfair.

"We continue to be concerned about the large number of Iranians executed following trials involving serious violations of due process," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, according to AFP.

"Even as we test the potential for a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue, our support for the fundamental freedoms and rights of all Iranians will continue," she insisted.

Progress in Iran's respect for human rights would be "a key test in Iran's reintegration with the international community," Psaki added.

Iran regularly executes citizens who are convicted of a variety of crimes, including murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking, adultery and espionage.

A recent report by Amnesty International found that execution orders in the Islamic Republic have risen dramatically since the beginning of 2014.

United Nations officials condemned the recent surge in executions in Iran, saying they denounced “the inherently cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty.”

In Iran, hangings usually take place in public squares, with the condemned often hanged by cranes.

Iranian opposition and human rights activists have previously pointed to the ongoing, and even escalated rate of executions under President Hassan Rouhani as proof that attempts to portray the regime as more "moderate" following his election are false.