UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has criticized Iran for what he says is an upsurge in executions in the country. Iranian authorities say the executions are needed to fight drug trafficking. Mr Ban welcomed a call from the head of Iran’s judiciary to suspend the execution of children, but noted that the practice was still continuing. The secretary general also used a new UN report on human rights in Iran to highlight the treatment of women, religious minorities and homosexuals. Iran’s deputy prosecutor general, Hossein Zebhi, has suggested that judges should stop imposing the death penalty on young offenders. (BBC)

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