The Norway-based watchdog Iran Human Rights says it has found evidence that 10 people convicted of various charges had their punishments meted out in a mass execution on June 29 at the Rajai-Shahr prison in the city of Karaj.
In a statement dated June 30, the group said eight of those executed had been convicted of murder, while the ninth had been convicted of sodomy and the tenth of rape.
Farhad Meisamy, a civil activist who has been in the same prison for more than four years, wrote in a note earlier this month that 'about 200 executions are carried out in this prison every year.'
As of June 28, 239 executions had been recorded in Iran this year, including more than three a day over the past month, according to Iran Human Rights, a pace that puts Iran within reach of the 517 executions it carried out in 2017.
'There is no evidence of any dramatic changes [in crime rates] that would explain this,' Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director of the rights watchdog told RFE/RL by telephone.
Furthermore, he added, Iranian authorities are aware that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to violent crimes or drug offenses, 'so the aim is not to fight crime or deter crime.'
Amiry-Moghaddam noted that the wave of executions recorded in May, when 50 prisoners were put to death, coincided with the start of mass protests over rising food prices in southwestern Iran.
Some human rights sources, including the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), have previously stated that more than 85 percent of executions in Iran are carried out 'in secret and without official and public information.'
With writing and reporting by Ardeshir Tayebi
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036