Iran executed at least 110 people between January 1 and June 30, 2019, in prisons or in public, Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported. The number shows a rise compared with the same period last year.
Two juveniles were among the executed, IHR said, adding that the executioners hanged the minors in the central prison in the city of Shiraz (known as Adel Abad, meaning "Prosperous Place of Justice" in Persian).
The hangings triggered widespread international criticism. Amin Sedaghat and Mehdi Sohrabifar, 17-year-old cousins, were executed in the early morning on April 25. They were 15 at the time of their arrest for rape and robbery, while one of them had a mental disability.
One of their relatives told IHR at the time that they were innocent and the rapist was someone else involved in the theft. "The authorities tortured them to extract the false confessions," the relative added.
Relatives of the executed juveniles maintain that they had seen traces of lashings on their loved ones' bodies, showing that they were flogged before being hanged.
According to the documents seen by IHR, Mehdi Sohrabifar had suffered from a mental disability and was studying at a school for students with special needs.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned the execution of the two 17-year-old boys in Iran as "deplorable."
"I am appalled," Bachelet said in a statement on May 3, urging Tehran to immediately halt all executions of people accused of committing crimes while children.
"The prohibition of executions of child offenders is absolute under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and under the Convention on the Rights of the Child," she said.
Iran is a party to both treaties.
Bachelet said the cases of Sohrabifar and Sedaghat were particularly deplorable since "both boys were reportedly subjected to ill-treatment and a flawed legal process."
IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam also said at the time, "Executions of these juveniles are among the many crimes that Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the newly appointed Head of Judiciary Ebrahim Raeisi must be held accountable for."
Despite being a signatory to international conventions, Iran executed at least seven juveniles in 2018.
Meanwhile, only 37 out of the recent 110 executions have been announced by the authorities or the Iranian media so far, IHR said.
According to Amnesty International, Iran reduced the number of executions in 2018, mainly due to a change in the law about narcotics offenses, which raised the bar for being convicted as a major dealer.
Eighty-three of those who have been executed were sentenced to qisas (an eye for an eye or retribution in-kind, according to Sharia law) for murder charges. Thirteen others were hanged for rape charges, nine for drug-related charges, four for Moharebeh (waging war against God) by committing armed robbery, and one for spying.
"Nearly forty juvenile offenders have been hanged in the past five years in Iran, while most of them were underage at the time of their crime," Mahmoud Amiri Moghaddam insisted, adding, "Iran is at the top of the list of the countries where underage offenders are executed."
Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are the only countries in the world where juvenile offenders are punished by death.
Based on the IHR report, out of 110 executions from January to June 2019, eight convicts were hanged in public, while children were also among the spectators.