Iran Focus: London, Jul. 29 – The European Union criticised Iran on Tuesday for mass executing 29 people earlier this week, describing the action as an "affront to human dignity".
London, Jul. 29 – The European Union criticised Iran on Tuesday for mass executing 29 people earlier this week, describing the action as an "affront to human dignity".
“The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the 29 simultaneous executions which took place in Evin prison, Iran, on Sunday 27 July 2008”, the 27-nation bloc said in a statement issued by France, the current holder of its rotating Presidency.
"It considers that the Iranian regime's action of staging these executions and making them the focus of media attention is an affront to human dignity", the statement added.
"The European Union is deeply concerned by the increasing recourse to the death penalty in Iran in recent months".
It urged Iran to abolish the death penalty in line with a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2007 on a Moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
Iranian authorities hanged the 29 people in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison at 05.10 am (00.40 GMT).
Tehran’s chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi described those hanged as “trouble-makers”. They had been convicted of adultery, drug trafficking or murder.
Iranian authorities routinely execute dissidents on bogus charges such as armed robbery and drug smuggling.
Iranian opposition sources have said that several of the 29 individuals had taken part in last year's nationwide fuel shortage riots.
Evin Prison was built by the Shah’s regime as a modern security prison to house political dissidents, but it became the Islamic Republic’s most dreaded gulag and the site of thousands of political executions. Ward 209 is exclusively set aside for political prisoners.