Three women were executed in Iran this week for killing their husbands, a watchdog group says, part of a sharp increase in the use of the death penalty. The government has put twice as many people to death this year as last, the BBC reports—including 32 in the past week. Amnesty International said this week that Iran has launched a "horrific" series of executions, counting more than 250 people killed in the first half of the year. "The state machinery is carrying out killings on a mass scale across the country," an Amnesty International official said, "in an abhorrent assault on the right to life."
Soheila Abadi was hanged Wednesday in prison after being convicted of killing her husband, the Iran Human Rights Group said. They married 10 years ago, when she was 15. The motive was "family disputes," the sentencing court said. The group said two other women convicted in the deaths of their husbands also were put to death Wednesday. Such cases often include accusations of domestic violence, human rights groups say, though the courts in Iran often don't consider them.
There also have been recent mass executions, Amnesty International reports, including those of a dozen people on June 6 and a dozen on June 15 in another prison. Given the secrecy involving executions in Iran, the organization said the actual number of those put to death may well be higher. Iran executes more women than any other country, the groups say, usually for their husband's death, and the execution of ethnic minorities also is out of proportion. (Read more Iran stories.)