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Iran moves to reduce number of executions

  • Story Highlights
  • Iran wants to reduce number of "unnecessary executions" it carries out, official says
  • Iran has executed at least 140 people this year, according to Amnesty
  • Organizations such as Human Rights Watch have been especially critical of Iran
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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran wants to reduce the number of "unnecessary executions" it carries out, a spokesman for the Islamic republic's judiciary said.

The country is trying to amend some of its laws to recognize "developments," Alireza Jamshidi said Saturday, according to the state news agency IRNA.

"We act according to and within the framework of our laws, especially our Islamic laws. Of course, there has been a huge development in our laws in recent years," he said.

"Certain measures have been sent to parliament for approval. In particular, regarding cases involving unnecessary executions. Those laws are in the process of being changed, after the approval of Parliament and the Guardian Council. We hope to see a reduction of such sentences," IRNA quoted him as saying.

The Guardian Council is an unelected body of six high clerics appointed by supreme religious leaders and six lawyers nominated by the head of the judiciary branch.

Iran has executed at least 140 people this year, according to Amnesty International.

Organizations such as Human Rights Watch have been especially critical of Iran's execution of minors.

"Iran leads all countries of the world in executing juvenile offenders," the group said in a statement last week. "Figures available from human-rights lawyers in Iran indicate that at least 130 juvenile offenders are on death row in Iran. Two juvenile offenders have already been executed this year."

Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.

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