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Tehran hangs 9 murderers, drug trafficker

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Latest update : 2008-12-24

The Islamic republic has stepped up its use of the death penalty in an unprecedented crackdown to improve security in society, triggering protests from Western rights groups.

 AFP - Iran on Wednesday hanged nine people convicted of murder in a mass execution in a Tehran prison as well as a drug trafficker in the north of the country, the Fars news agency reported.
  
The Islamic republic has stepped up its use of the death penalty in an unprecedented crackdown to improve security in society, triggering protests from Western rights groups.
  
Wednesday's hangings take to at least 244 the number of executions in Iran this year, according to an AFP count.
  
Fars said that eight men and a woman were executed in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, without giving further details.
  
But Etemad Melli newspaper said that the woman convict, identified only as 30-year-old Tayebeh, was convicted of murdering her seven-year-old step-daughter.
  
At her final hearing, Tayebeh had retracted an early confession that she had buried the girl alive in a park after picking her up from school and spiking her fruit juice with sleeping pills.
  
A convicted drug trafficker, identified only as F.S., was executed on Wednesday in a prison in the northern town of Noshahr, Fars said.
  
In November, nine men and a woman were sent to gallows for murder. The woman was convicted of killing her temporary husband by cutting him into pieces.
  
In Shiite Islam, men and women are permitted to marry on a temporary basis.
  
In the largest mass execution in years, Iran in July hanged 29 men convicted of offences including drug trafficking, murder and rape.
  
The Islamic republic also began 2008 with the January hanging of 13 people, for murder and drug trafficking, including the mother of two young children who had been found guilty of murdering her husband.
  
The hangings have been mostly carried out in Evin prison.
  
Human rights groups, notably the centre headed by Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, have repeatedly criticised the rising number of executions.
  
The authorities have defended the hangings, saying capital punishment is an effective deterrent that is used only after an exhaustive judicial process.
  
Amnesty International says Iran carried out more death sentences in 2007 than any other country apart from China, executing 317 people.
  
Capital offences in the Islamic republic include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery.
  

Date created : 2008-12-24

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