An Iranian officer lashes a man, convicted of rape, at the northeastern city of Sabzevar, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Hossein Esmaeli)
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At least 80 people have been executed in Iran so far this year, marking a rise in its use of capital punishment, the UN's human rights office said Friday.The majority of executions in Iran are by hanging and are handed down for drug-related offences, which fail to meet the threshold in international law for "most serious crimes", a category which covers acts such as murder.The case of two activists from Iran's Arab minority was of particular concern, Shamdasani said.The increased deployment of capital punishment dashed hopes after the "encouraging signs" last year when President Hassan Rouhani's release of a string of political prisoners.
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