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Rights group: Iran on 'execution binge'

By Mitra Mobasherat, CNN
  • There have been 57 executions since the beginning of the year, human rights group says
  • The groups says Iran has averaged one execution every 8 hours
  • Iran is second only to China in the number executions, group says

(CNN) -- Iranian authorities hanged 10 convicted drug smugglers early Wednesday morning, according to state media.

The 10 men were executed at a prison in the city of Karaj, west of the capital Tehran, according to IRIB news agency.

They were charged with smuggling, storing, and selling narcotics, charges that have lead to the majority of the reported executions in Iran.

The latest executions brings the total number to 57, since the beginning of 2011, according to a human rights group.

The New York-based group, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, says the Iranian regime has been on an "execution binge", hanging on average one person every eight hours.

"The Iranian Judiciary is on an execution binge orchestrated by the intelligence and security agencies," said Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the ICHRI.

The group says the number of unreported executions is even higher in politically motivated cases.

Rhodes pointed to a recent execution of a Kurdish activists that he said had not been fully reported to the public.

"The execution of Kurdish activists, without fair trials and following torture, increasingly appears as a systematic, politically motivated process," he said.

According to the ICHRI, Iran executes more people per capita than any other country and is is second only to China.