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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the Iranian government to introduce a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, according to its report on the situation in the field of human rights in Iran.

The report includes information received from the Iranian government, state media, NGOs, from open sources and individual conversations with those sentenced to death, as well as their relatives and lawyers. It says that from November 2018 to May 2019, the Iranian government continued to interact with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Management officials visited Tehran in March 2019 and held meetings to discuss the human rights situation in the country, including the ongoing death penalty of minors.

The Secretary-General urges the government to abolish the mandatory death penalty and introduce a moratorium on its use, prohibit the execution of juvenile offenders in any circumstances, the Iranian government has been told in the recommendations.

According to the report, the death penalty in Iran continues to be used as a punishment for crimes that do not contain an element of intentional homicide, as well as for crimes whose definition is vague.

OHCHR has received information that at least 253 people were executed in 2018. This, according to the authors of the report, is significantly less than in 2017, when at least 437 cases of the death penalty were registered.

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