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Iran Hangs Ethnic Baluchi At Center Of UN Pleas For 'Review'

Iran says it executed Javid Dehghan on January 30.

Iranian authorities have executed an ethnic Baluchi who was convicted of killing Iranian security forces despite a plea by the United Nations to halt his and other judicial killings after a spate of recent hangings.

The Iranian judiciary's official website reported that Javid Dehghan, 31, was hanged on January 30 for killing two members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) five years ago in southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan Province.

It described him as a leader of a Sunni militant group known as Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice).

The United Nations had implored Iran to halt Dehghan's "imminent" execution and "to review his and other death penalty cases in line with human rights law," the Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) tweeted on January 29.

"We strongly condemn the series of executions -- at least 28 -- since mid-December, including of people from minority groups," it added.

The UN said Dehghan had been sentenced to death in 2017 for “taking up arms to take lives or property and to create fear."

Iran is the world's second most active executioner after China, according to Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has accused the Iranian court of convicting Dehghan based on "torture-tainted 'confessions'" and abuses of the prosecutorial process.

"Amnesty International urges the Iranian authorities not to compound the shocking catalogue of human rights violations already committed against Javid Dehghan by carrying out his execution," the rights group had said before he was put to death.

The Jaish al-Adl group has reportedly carried out several high-profile bombings and abductions in Iran in recent years.

Activists outside Iran have in past weeks expressed concern over the numbers of ethnic Baluchis being executed or facing capital punishment in Iran.

Abdollah Aref, the director of the Europe-based Campaign of Baluch Activists, said this week that his group has documented the execution of 16 members of the Baluch minority in the past two months.

Iran launched a crackdown on minorities in mid-December that has seemingly been targeting "in particular Kurdish, Ahwazi Arab, and Baluch communities," OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP
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