Authorities in Iran hanged 16 people imprisoned for alleged links with anti-regime groups in retaliation for the killing of 17 border guards in an ambush near the boundary with Pakistani.
Those executed were “linked to terrorist and anti-regime groups,” the state-owned Far News Agency quoted Mohammad Marzieh, the attorney general of Sistan-Baluchistan province, as saying. They were hanged “in response to the terrorist attack which led to the martyrdom of a number of border guards.”
Seven soldiers were also wounded in the attack that took place late yesterday in Saravan, on the south-eastern border with Pakistan, Fars cited Saravan’s member of parliament, Hedayatollah Mir-Moradzehi as saying.
Iran has stepped up executions in recent months, with at least 82 people killed in the weeks following President Hassan Rouhani’s election in June, Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations special investigator on human rights said in a report presented to the General Assembly on Oct. 23. Shaheed said he’s “alarmed by the spate of executions.”
Rouhani, who took office Aug. 4, has pardoned political prisoners in a bid to promote a thaw with global powers over the Islamic republic’s disputed nuclear program. International talks in the country’s nuclear initiatives were held last week in Geneva, as Rouhani’s government seeks relief from sanctions that ave battered its economy.