Four people were executed this week in Iraq, bringing the number of people put to death so far this year to 69, or one more than in all of 2011, a justice ministry official said on Tuesday.

Several mass executions were carried out since the beginning of the year, including one in which 14 people were put to death on February 7.

In view of this situation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on January 24th the Iraqi authorities for an immediate suspension of the death penalty there; while 34 people were executed in a single day.