x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Iran hangs 29 convicted criminals in Tehran

Iran executes 29 convicted drug smugglers and "bandits" in Evin prison, the state broadcaster's website IRIB reported.

TEHRAN // Iran executed 29 convicted drug smugglers and "bandits" this morning, the state broadcaster's website IRIB reported. "Twenty-nine drug smugglers and well-known bandits were hanged in Evin prison on Sunday at dawn. These criminals had smuggled thousands of kilos of narcotics in the country and outside the country," IRIB reported. Iran said today it planned to execute 30 people for murder, rape, drug smuggling and other crimes. Police have in recent weeks arrested dozens of people in a new crackdown on "immoral behaviour" in the country, whose human rights record is often criticised in the West.

"Some of these people were convicted of other crimes such as rape, murder, armed robbery ... and disrupting public security and peace," IRIB said. Iran usually carries out executions by hanging and in prisons. At least 10 people were hanged in the country in July. In September last year, 21 people were executed in one day, but in two different places. Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Iran's Sharia law, enforced since the country's 1979 revolution.

Amnesty International has named Iran as the world's second most prolific executioner last year, with at least 317 people put to death, trailing only China which carried out 470 death sentences. Iran rejects accusations it is violating human rights and accuses the West of double standards and hypocrisy. *Reuters