Iran Amputating Limbs, Burning Political Opponents

Iran executed a record-shattering 411 citizens in the first half of 2014 and a total of 852 people in the last 15 months, including at least eight juveniles, according to a new United Nations report that will be introduced to the organization’s General Assembly Tuesday.

In addition to a surge in state-sanctioned killings that a U.N. official referred to as “shocking,” Iran continues to torture imprisoned individuals using techniques such as amputation, electroshock, flogging, and burnings, according to the report, which details human rights in the Islamic Republic.

Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N.’s special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, described the situation in the country as “shocking” and pushed countries such as the United States to finally speak up about it. Continue reading

Chinese fear a new KGB as Beijing sets up powerful national security body

China’s decision to set up a powerful national security committee has spurred deep fears in the country of society slipping further into a police state.

Bloggers in the past few days have voiced their concerns by posting texts and pictures detailing atrocities carried out by the KGB and its predecessor the Cheka, the former Soviet Union security agencies known for suppressing dissent and practising torture. Many said they dreaded the KGB would be the model for the new security committee. Continue reading