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15 executed on drug charges in Iran

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Since Monday, April 23, 15 people have been executed at the Shahroud, Rejaishahr and Evin prisons in Iran.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that on April 25, five people convicted of drug charges were executed at Shahroud Prison. Four of the convicts were Afghan nationals and they were charged with "storing large amounts of drugs."

Their applications for pardon were processed in two stages and denied by the Pardons Commission.

On Tuesday, April 24, the website for the Human Rights and Democracy Activists of Iran reported the mass execution of eight prisoners at Rejaishahr Prison in Karaj. One of the prisoners hanged in Karaj was also an Afghan national.

On April 24, another two prisoners, who had been transferred from Ghezel Hessar Prison to solitary confinement at Evin, were hanged at Evin.

In an earlier report, human rights activists said nine prisoners convicted of drug charges were executed in Shiraz, Marvsadht, Semnan and Zanjan between April 15 and 20.

Ahmad Shaheed, the special UN rapporteur on human rights in Iran, has expressed concern over the growing number of executions in Iran since 2003.

In his report, he indicated there had been more than 400 executions in Iran in 2011 and he mentioned the possibility of unannounced executions. About 81 percent of the death penalties are reportedly for drug charges.

According to Amnesty International, Iran has the second-highest rate of executions in the world, surpassed only by China.

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