UN expert: Iran human rights worse since Rouhani elected

A sharp rise in executions and crackdown on dissent is cause for concern for special investigator

Illustrative photo of an execution in Iran. (AFP/Arash Khamooshi/ISNA)
Illustrative photo of an execution in Iran. (AFP/Arash Khamooshi/ISNA)

BERLIN — The UN’s special investigator on Iran said the human rights situation in the country has deteriorated since Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013.

Ahmed Shaheed said “in my view the overall situation has worsened, as indicated by the surge in executions.”

Shaheed told reporters in Geneva on Monday that 753 death sentences were carried out in Iran last year, compared with 580 in 2012.

He lamented that Iran executes more people per capita than any other country and that more than half of the death sentences were for drug-related crimes.

Shaheed said Iran has also introduced a number of laws putting pressure on dissidents, rights activists and journalists.

The UN expert said he hopes a resolution of its nuclear dispute with the West will improve the human rights situation, too.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

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