- One Prisoner Hanged in Karaj (West of Tehran)
- Student activist Arash Mohammadi is on hunger strike
- Weekly report on Human Right Violation in Iran
- Vahid Asghari refused to appear in the court
- Akbar Amini the political activist arrested
- Behnam Ibrahimzadeh summoned to return prison
- Tehran regime will not change its way
- Rohani once approved of hiding Iran atomic work
- Israel won't accept less than total halt of Iran's nuclear enrichment
- Rowhani vows 'moderation,' but won't halt nuclear program
- Israel will do everything to prevent another Holocaust
- Iran takes key step in nuclear reactor construction
- Iran’s women discriminated against by law
- Women, Law and Sexuality in Iran
- Iranian women are second-class citizens
- Women skirt Iranian music ban with fancy dress
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Report: Iran sending 4,000 troops to aid Assad
- Syria: North Korean military 'advising Assad regime'
- Iran cuts Hamas’ funding for backing Syrian opposition
- Neighbors in Lebanese city fight Syrian proxy war
- Hezbollah takes Syria risk at Iran's behest: experts
- Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US
Wednesday 30 May 2012
May 30 (Reuters) - The European Union criticised Iran on Wednesday for an "alarming" increase in the use of the death penalty this year, calling on Tehran to introduce a moratorium on executions.
"According to the latest data, compiled from a number of sources, the rate of executions in Iran during the first 5 months of 2012 confirmed the country as one of the world's leading users of the death penalty," a spokesman for the EU's foreign policy chief said.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is "deeply concerned by the alarming increase", the spokesman said.
Ashton is leading negotiations between six global powers and Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme, hoping to resolve a decade-long dispute over international suspicions that Tehran seeks the means to make atom bombs. Tehran denies this.
A round of talks in Baghdad last week produced scant results but the powers - United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain - are due to meet Iranian negotiators again in Moscow on June 18-19.
Tehran has repeatedly faced accusations of human rights abuses related to its high rate of use of the death penalty.
"It's not clear why this is happening now and might just be a coincidence. Whatever the reason may be, it's a convenient time to step up executions when the rest of the world is focusing on the nuclear talks," a Tehran-based diplomat said.
In May, Iranian media said 15 people were hanged - 14 who faced charges of drug trafficking and a man said by Tehran to be an agent of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.
The EU has imposed sanctions on Iranian officials who it says play a prominent role in serious human rights violations, targeting them with travel bans and asset freezes.
Such measures are in addition to a broad range of economic sanctions the EU has introduced to press the Islamic Republic to abandon its contested nuclear activity. (Reporting by Justyna Pawlak; Additional reporting by Marcus George in Dubai)