In the largest mass state execution in many years, Iran hanged 29 prisoners for crimes from rape, murder and drug trafficking, to drinking alcohol and keeping ammunition. Iran executed a total of 317 people in 2007.
Iran hanged 29 people convicted of drug trafficking, murder and rape in Tehran's Evin prison on Sunday, in the largest mass execution in the Islamic republic for years, the state broadcaster said .
The hangings were carried out in the notorious prison at 5:10 am (0040 GMT), it said on its website.
The latest hangings bring to at least 155 the number of executions carried out in Iran this year, according to an AFP count.
Amnesty International reported that in 2007 Iran applied the death penalty more often than any other country apart from China, executing 317 people during the year.
The hanged men had records of repeated crimes including rape, murder with torture and armed robbery.
The report named some of the convicts as Ali Reza Chubdari Fard, Abdolreza Shah Bakhsh, Shiragha Tajik, Mohammad Khalegh Dadi, Sohrab Kamal Zehi, Ali Rushian, Morteza Chardavali, Assadollah Naghdi Pari and Hossein Mirzai.
The charges against them included serious drug trafficking, the stabbing to death of victims, drinking alcohol and keeping war ammunition.
Capital offences in the Islamic republic include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery.
Human rights groups have accused Iran of making excessive use of the death penalty but Tehran insists it is an effective deterrent that is carried out only after an exhaustive judicial process.
According to the state broadcaster's report, the latest death sentences were carried out with the approval of the Tehran revolutionary court and high judicial authorities.
Iranian press reported on Saturday that the number of people awaiting the gallows was 30, of whom 20 were convicted drug traffickers and the rest were described as "murderer thugs".
On January 2, Iran hanged 13 people including the mother of two young children found guilty of murdering her husband.
Western rights groups as well as Iranian activists have repeatedly complained about the wave of hangings in Iran.
Date created : 2008-07-27