The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday that Iran has executed at least 66 people in the month of January alone, an alarming surge in executions that has defied pressures from human rights group across the world.
"We have urged Iran, time and again, to halt executions," Pillay said. "I am very dismayed that instead of heeding our calls, the Iranian authorities appear to have stepped up the use of the death penalty."
Most executions were for drug offenses, but there were also executions for political activism. Two executions were held in public, which Pillay said compounded their cruelty and inhumanity.
Iran's UN mission in Geneva declined press requests for comment on Wednesday.