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The rights group has recorded 97 executions of people under the age of 18 in Iran between 1990 and 2018.

Amnesty International says Iranian officials have lashed and secretly executed two 17-year-old cousins in southern Iran.

The rights watchdog said Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat were executed on April 25 at the Adelabad prison in Shiraz, the capital of the southern Fars Province. The two were arrested at age 15 and convicted on multiple rape charges after what international rights groups said was an unfair trial.

"The Iranian authorities have once again proved that they are sickeningly prepared to put children to death, in flagrant disregard of international law," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa director, in a statement on April 29.

"It seems they cruelly kept these two boys in the dark about their death sentences for two years, flogged them in the final moments of their lives, and then carried out their executions in secret."

The two were held in a juvenile prison facility since 2017 and on April 24 were transferred to Adelabad prison, where they were allowed to meet with their families.

The following day the relatives of the two boys were told by officials they had been executed and could claim their bodies.

Sohrabifar and Sedaghat claimed they had been beaten at a police detention center after they were arrested. During that time they also had no access to an attorney.

The rights group has recorded 97 executions of people under the age of 18 in Iran between 1990 and 2018.

Luther said Amnesty has seen a trend "in which Iran's authorities are carrying out executions of juvenile offenders in secret and without giving advance notice to the families, seemingly in a deliberate attempt to avoid global outrage."

Airat Dilmukhametov has maintained his innocence, saying all of the charges against him are politically motivated.

UFA, Russia -- A court in Russia's Bashkortostan region has extended pretrial detention for opposition politician Airat Dilmukhametov.

A court in the regional capital, Ufa, on April 29 ruled that Dilmukhametov must stay in pretrial detention until July 6.

Dilmukhametov was arrested on March 15 and charged with public calls to violate Russia's territorial integrity, a charge stemming from a video statement he made last year calling for the creation of a "real" federation in Russia with more autonomous rights given to ethnic republics and regions.

Dilmukhametov's lawyer, Aleksei Zakharov, told RFE/RL that the Federal Security Service (FSB) was working on new charges against his client.

According to Zakharov, the new pending charges against Dilmukhametov are public calls for extremism and support of terrorism.

Those charges are linked to Dilmukhametov's criticism of regional authorities for incarcerating several Bashkirs on charges of belonging to a banned Islamic group and his public statements in September 2018 about a conflict between local residents and workers from Chechnya in the village of Temas.

Zakharov said also that he was unaware of the specific details of the pending charges, adding that the court's ruling to prolong Dilmukhametov's pretrial detention will be appealed.

Dilmukhametov's supporters say the additional charges are being filed because his current charge is "weak" and investigators are trying to find additional accusations.

Dilmukhametov has maintained his innocence, saying all of the charges against him are politically motivated.

The Moscow-based human rights group Memorial has recognized Dilmukhametov as a prisoner of conscience.

Dilmukhametov's detention was also condemned by the Yabloko opposition party, the Congress of the Bashkir People, and the Congress of Kalmyk People.

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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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