Iran is weaponising the death penalty, attempting to crush dissent by frightening the public with the execution of protesters, the United Nations said Tuesday.
The Islamic republic has been rocked by a wave of protests since the death in custody on September 16 of Mahsa Amini, following the 22-year-old's arrest for allegedly violating Iran's strict dress code for women.
"Criminal proceedings and the death penalty are being weaponised by the Iranian government to punish individuals participating in protests and to strike fear into the population so as to stamp out dissent, in violation of international human rights law," OHCHR said.
Two further executions are scheduled imminently and at least 17 other individuals have reportedly been sentenced to death, said the office of Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"The weaponisation of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic rights -- such as those participating in or organising demonstrations -- amounts to state-sanctioned killing," Turk said in a statement.