9th Aug 2016 Times Headline
Iran has executed a group of 20 mostly Sunni prisoners, drawing condemnation from rights groups which said the convictions may have been based on forced confessions.
The men, who were hanged on Tuesday, were accused of carrying out a string of attacks against civilians and religious leaders in Iran’s western Kurdish region, state media reported on Thursday.
“These people had committed murder … killed women and children, caused destructions and acted against the security and killed Sunni religious leaders in some Kurdish regions,” IRIB television quoted Prosecutor General Mohammad Javad Montazeri as saying.
He said all the executions – carried out by hanging – took place following a lengthy trial.
The country’s intelligence ministry issued a statement on Wednesday detailing 24 armed attacks between 2009 and 2011, including bombings and robberies, apparently by a single armed group, Tohid and Jihad.
The group was responsible for 21 deaths during that period, the ministry said.