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UN Calls On Iran To Halt 'Imminent' Execution Of Ethnic Baluchi

Javid Dehghan was sentenced to death in 2017.

The United Nations has urged Iran to halt the "imminent" execution of a member of the Baluch ethnic minority as it rebuked Tehran for a number of recent hangings, including members of the country’s ethnic minorities.

“We urge the authorities to halt the execution of Javid Dehghan, to review his and other death penalty cases in line with human rights law,” the Geneva-based Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Twitter on January 29.

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

Amnesty International said on January 28 that Dehghan, 31, is scheduled to be executed on January 31.

The London-based rights group said Dehghan was sentenced to death in connection with his alleged membership in the extremist group Jaish Al-Adl (Army of Justice) and his alleged role in an ambush that killed two members of Iran’ Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

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

Amnesty said his trial was "grossly unfair" with the court relying on "torture-tainted confessions" and ignoring abuses committed during the investigation.

"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 said.

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

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

The UN said Iran has launched a crackdown on minorities since mid-December.

"This has included a series of executions of members of ethnic and religious minority groups -- in particular Kurdish, Ahwazi Arab, and Baluch communities," OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said.

Iran is one of the world's leading executioners.

With reporting by AFP
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