IRAN has seen a surge in executions as well as amputations using a hideous medieval-style guillotine to remove victims’ fingers.
The country’s barbaric system of punishments sees prisoners hanged from cranes in public while there is also widespread use of horrific electric shocks and flogging.
The latest figures show Iran carries out around 250 executions a year, including about a dozen in public, in which the condemned die a slow agonising death while dangling in the air.
At the same time, rights groups have said it is stepping up the use of a special guillotine that amputates the prisoners’ fingers – also often carried out in public.
Iran comes second only to China when it comes to number of executions worldwide – but with a much smaller population.
Under its Islamic Penal Code, a death sentence can be handed down for crimes such as kidnapping, adultery, drinking alcohol and political crimes as well as murder.
Victims can also have their fingers amputated for counts of petty theft – leaving just the thumb and palm.
Children as young as 12 can also be sentenced to death, which is against international law.
And torture is believed to rife in Iran’s prisons, with electric shocks, floggings, water boarding and sexual violence used on prisoners, according to human rights groups.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran told The Sun Online there have been “dozens of executions in recent days in Iran under the mullahs’ regime as a sign of the deteriorating human rights situation”.
Shahin Gobadin, who is a member of the NCRI and a spokesman, said that “Iran that has the highest executions per capita in the world”.
He said: “[the regime] will not remain in power even for a day without repression, torture, and execution”.
“It is most fearful of even bigger popular anti-regime nationwide uprising than the one that shook the regime to its foundation in November 2019,” he said.
“So it has resorted to more executions. At least 30 prisoners, including three women, were executed in cities throughout the country in the past 30 days alone.”
In 2018 six kids were executed, including two child brides who killed their abusive adult husbands.
A year later two teenage boys were flogged and executed for rape without telling them or their families – sparking outrage over child executions.
Many of those executed are tortured into confessing, including Iran’s national wrestling champion, Navid Afkari, 27, who was accused of killing a state security guard during the anti-government protests
Stoning to death for adultery also remains on the statute books, though the latest figures show none have been carried out recently.
Among those facing currently facing the death penalty for drinking alcohol are a 73-year-old retired pilot.
He would normally just be flogged, but prosecutors have demanded his execution as it’s his third such offence, says Iran Human Rights Monitor.
Electric shocks in prisons see victims strapped into a chair and forced to confess to crimes with the power being turned up if they don’t.
One victim told Amnesty: “The electric shocks were the worst form of torture.
“It felt like my entire body was being pierced with millions of needles. If I refused to answer their questions, they would raise the voltage levels and give me stronger electric shocks.
“I would shake violently and there would be a strong burning sensation coursing through my whole body.”
In a sick twist to the brutal mass hangings it carries out, those awaiting execution have been made to watch others die.
One woman on her way to the to the gallows, Zahra Ismaili, suffered a heart attack after seeing 16 men hang in front of her – but her lifeless body was strung up anyway.
Meanwhile, Human rights organisation Amnesty International has been highlighting the increased use of the guillotine.
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“The Iranian authorities are gearing up their machinery of torture to yet again deliberately mutilate and traumatize people through unspeakably cruel judicial corporal punishments,” it said.
Diana Eltahawy, its Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, added: “The Iranian authorities are yet again readying their tools of torture to deliberately mutilate and traumatize people through unspeakably cruel corporal punishments.”
She also highlighted the use of torture such as electric shocks to prisoners, who are also flogged and sexually abused within Iran’s brutal prison system.