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Execution; May 2005

Five convicted murderers hanged in Iran

Thursday, May 05, 2005 -

 LONDON, May 5 - Five men convicted of murder or armed robbery were hanged in Iran Wednesday, one of them publicly in the southwestern city of Ahvaz and four others in a prison in the capital, officials said.

Quoted by the official news agency IRNA, a judiciary official in Ahvaz said a man only identified as Reza H. was executed for stabbing to death Hossein A..

No further details were given. The hangings in Tehran were carried out at dawn inside the city's main Evin prison, a judiciary official told AFP without giving any further details.

Press reports identified the four convicts as Hatam Gorgi, sentenced for the murder of a young man in a park; Ali Asghar Hojabri, who was found guilty of slaying a family of five; armed robber Mohammad Faranaki and triple killer Ali Asghar Mardi.

So far this year Iran has executed at least 21 people, according to an AFP tally based on witness and press reports. In 2004 at least 159 people were executed in the Islamic republic -- the highest rate in the world after China -- according to human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

Iran's capital offences include murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, blasphemy, serious drug trafficking, repeated sodomy, adultery or prostitution, treason and espionage.