GENEVA - Iran has stepped up executions of prisoners including juveniles as well as arrests of dissidents who are often tortured in jail, sometimes to death, the United Nations reported on Thursday.
In twin reports issued in Geneva, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN special investigator on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, voiced concern at what they called an apparent rise in the frequency and gravity of abuses in Iran.
"The Secretary-General remains deeply troubled by reports of increasing numbers of executions, including of juvenile offenders and in public; continuing amputations and flogging; arbitrary arrest and detention; unfair trials, torture and ill-treatment; and severe restrictions targeting media professionals, human rights defenders, lawyers and opposition activities, as well as religious minorities," Ban reported.
The Islamic Republic, which is under economic sanctions for its disputed nuclear program, has failed to investigate "widespread, systemic and systematic violations of human rights", Shaheed's report said.
He called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of detained human rights advocates, journalists and lawyers.