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Seventeen prisoners executed in Iran

SECURITY
Seventeen prisoners executed in Iran

Seventeen prisoners have been executed in Iran in the past two days for crimes including murder, rape and drugs trafficking, the Iran Human Rights website reported on Wednesday, condemning the wave of judicial killings.

"Despite the alarming rate of executions the international community has not shown any reaction yet," said IHR spokesman Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

"We urge the United Nations, European Union and all countries with diplomatic relations with Iran to condemn these executions and call for an immediate moratorium for the death penalty in Iran."

The prisoners were put to death in two different prisons in Karaj, west of the capital, Tehran, bringing to almost 60 the number of people put to death in different Iranian prisons this month, IHR said.

IHR said it was investigating claims that one of the prisoners executed, named as Mehdi Rajaei, was less than 18 years old at the time of his alleged offence.

Iran executed at least 977 people last year including juvenile offenders, mainly for drug-related crimes, according to campaign group Amnesty International.

Together with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, Iran carried out close to 90 percent of known executions worldwide in 2015, according to Amnesty. These figures exclude China, where executions remain a state secret, Amnesty said.

At least 2,162 people have been put to death since the election of Iran's 'moderate' president Hassan Rouhani in June 2013, according to IHR.

Executions in Iran soared 43 percent in the first two and a half years of Rohani's presidency compared with the previous two and a half years, IHR said.

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