The UN human rights chief says the flurry of death sentences handed down following the outbreak of civil unrest in Iran amount to “state sanctioned killing”

with executions being used to strike fear into the population and stamp out dissent. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned the ‘weaponisation’ of the death penalty to squash dissent.

“The weaponization of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic rights – such as those participating in or organizing demonstrations – amounts to state sanctioned killing,”

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said in a statement on Tuesday. He added that such executions violated international human rights law.

On Saturday, Iran hanged two men convicted of killing a member of the security forces during nationwide protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody in September.

The UN Human Rights office has received information that two further executions are imminent, the statement said.

Iranian authorities said hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed

and thousands arrested in connection with the protests, which they generally describe as “riots”. further executions are imminent