September 06- 2007 Hanging
Islamic Republic hangs 21 convicted criminals
Iran has hanged 21 men in the latest of a series of executions that
have been criticised by the EU and human rights groups, state media have
Authorities executed 17 convicted drug smugglers in
the north-eastern province Razavi Khorasan and four criminals in the
southern city of Shiraz.
The hanging of the four men in Shiraz was reportedly
watched by large crowds.
The number of executions in Iran has risen since July,
when police launched a crackdown on "immoral behaviour".
Murder, rape, adultery, armed robbery, apostasy and
drug smuggling are all punishable by death under the Islamic state's
particular version of Sharia law.
A justice department official said that at least one
criminal had been executed each week in Fars province, of which Shiraz
is the capital, since the Iranian New Year on 21 March.
"This shows the efforts of the judiciary system in
bringing about permanent social security and a serious confrontation
with those people who are corrupt," Abdolnabi Najibi told the Fars news
Amnesty International has protested against the rising
number of executions in Iran this year, which had reached 124 before
The European Union has criticised Tehran's human
rights record and expressed concern about the use of the death penalty.
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