Iran hangs Baluch man for killing of Revolutionary Guards

The execution came a day after the UN urged Iran not to carry out the sentence

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.  Rouhani on Wednesday criticized the country's hard-liner dominated judiciary over last week's prosecution of the country's telecommunications minister. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
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Iran on Saturday executed an ethnic Baluch man convicted of killing Revolutionary Guards members, the judiciary's official website reported, a day after the UN had urged Iranian authorities to spare his life.

The Mizan site said Javid Dehghan, who it said was a leader of the Sunni militant group Jaish Al Adl – or the Army of Justice, was hanged for shooting dead two guards five years ago in the south-eastern Sistan and Baluchistan province.

In a tweet on Friday, the UN human rights office called for a halt to Dehghan’s imminent execution and condemned “a series of executions – at least 28 – since mid-December, including of people from minority groups”.

World bodies and human rights groups have often criticised Iran for its rights record and large number of executions – the world’s highest after China, according to Amnesty International.

Amnesty said the court that convicted Dehghan relied on "torture-tainted ‘confessions’" and ignored serious abuses of due process by Revolutionary Guards agents and prosecution authorities during the investigation.

The impoverished Sistan and Baluchestan province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, has long been the scene of frequent clashes between security forces and Sunni militants and drug smugglers.

The population of the province is predominantly Sunni Muslim, while most Iranians are Shiite.

Jaish Al Adl, which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for ethnic minority Baluchis, has claimed responsibility for several attacks in recent years on Iranian security forces in the province.

On Thursday, state media said an Iranian member of ISIS was executed in south-western Khuzestan province, home to many of Iran’s ethnic Arabs, for taking part in an attack that killed two paramilitary Basij militiamen.