BRUSSELS: The European Union on Thursday called on the Iranian government to abolish the death penalty after a recent series of hangings in the country, officials said.
"The EU is deeply concerned about the use of the death penalty in Iran. Executions are taking place at an alarming rate," the bloc's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said in a statement backed by all 27 EU members.
At least 16 people have been hanged over the last week in Iran on charges of drug trafficking, rape and anti-government activities.
The union regularly criticizes nations that use death penalty, including the United States and Japan. But the EU added that Iran's policy of public executions breaks international law.
Around 60 people, Germans and exiled Iranians, protested on Thursday in Berlin against the wave of executions.
(BNO NEWS )