Iran’s use of the death penalty has been criticised by the Foreign Office, with the number of executions set to soar above 1,000 this year.
Iran executes more people per capita than any other nation and the extremely high numbers killed for drug dealing and sexual orientation has provoked worldwide concern.
Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, said Iran’s record was shameful.
“I am deeply concerned by the surge in executions in Iran. Reports indicate that Iran recently executed up to 63 people in one week. This shocking figure is a reminder of Iran’s already excessive use of the death penalty,” he said. “I am also extremely disturbed by Iran’s continued persecution of homosexuals and reports that four individuals were recently executed on related charges.”
Only China executed more people in 2011 than Iran. More than have the 600 plus victims of the death penalty were convicted of drugs offences.
Earlier this weak, a spokesman Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, said she was “deeply concerned by the alarming increase” in executions.