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A human rights group in Tajikistan has urged the government to compensate families of army conscripts killed in hazing incidents.

In a statement issued on November 3, the Amparo human rights center said at least two conscripts have been killed and one left paralyzed in bullying incidents this year.

In June, a Tajik Army sergeant was sentenced to nine years in jail for beating a conscript to death during a hazing incident in the northern Khujand Province.

Violent hazing has been a persistent problem in former Soviet republics.

Amparo is based in the provincial capital of Khujand, Tajikistan's second-largest city.

The group also said that raids across Tajikistan to round up young men avoiding conscription have decreased in frequency but continue.

Two years of military service is mandatory for men aged 18-27 in the Central Asian nation.

Iran's top human rights official responded to UN criticism of the death penalty in his country by saying 93 percent of the executions in Iran are for illegal drug smuggling.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council, made his comments in answering a UN report criticizing Iran's frequent use of capital punishment.

Larijani's comments were posted on the Iranian Judiciary's website on November 1.

The UN report from October 23 said at least 852 people have reportedly been executed between July 2013 and June 2014, calling the figure an "alarming increase" from previous years.

Officials from several European countries convened in Geneva for a UN human rights meeting this week and urged Iran to adopt a moratorium on the death penalty.

Three Afghans were executed on drug-smuggling charges on October 22, while six other Afghans were hanged earlier this year.

Based on reporting by AP

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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