388 people were executed in 2009 and 190 executed in 2010

Ireland must continue to push Iran on its human rights violations, the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs was told today.

Committee members were informed that 388 people were executed in 2009 and that at least 190 people have also been killed since the beginning of this year.

An Amnesty International Ireland delegation led by executive director Colm O'Gorman said the majority of the executions had taken place after trials that were in violation of international law and which included evidence obtained from forced confessions.

The delegation met the committee to highlight the treatment of prisoners by the Iranian authorities and to ask them to sign an open letter in support of human rights in Iran.

Dr Roja Fazaeli, Iran co-ordinator for Amnesty International Ireland, said Iranian authorities continued to use the practice of stoning as a method of execution and that many such executions took place in public.

Dr Fazaeli said the death penalty was applied in many political cases and that gay people and members of ethic minorities were commonly targeted for execution.

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