UN rights chief slams Iran's state sanctioned killing: ‘I reiterate…'
UN Rights Chief On Iran Anti-Hijab Protests: The sharp comments came as Iran hanged two men on Saturday for allegedly killing a member of the security forces.
Iran is weaponising death penalty to scare protesters and stamp out dissent, UN human rights chief said, slamming the executions which he said amounted to "state sanctioned killing".
"The weaponization of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic rights – such as those participating in or organizing demonstrations - amounts to state sanctioned killing," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said, saying the executions violated international human rights law.
The sharp comments came as Iran hanged two men on Saturday for allegedly killing a member of the security forces during anti-hijab protests that have gripped the nation since September last year.
The UN Human Rights office has received information that two further executions are imminent, the statement said.
"Criminal proceedings and the death penalty are being weaponised by the Iranian government to punish individuals participating in protests and to strike fear into the population so as to stamp out dissent, in violation of international human rights law," UN rights chief Volker Turk's office said.
“The government of Iran would better serve its interests and those of its people by listening to their grievances, and by undertaking the legal and policy reforms necessary to ensure respect for diversity of opinion, the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and the full respect and protection of the rights of women in all areas of life,” the statement added.
"I reiterate once more my call to the government of Iran to respect the lives and voices of its people, to impose an immediate moratorium on the death penalty and to halt all executions," Volker Turk said. He urged Iran to take steps to reform rules in the country which "respect and protect human rights."