This Article is From May 01, 2011

Iranian thief hanged in public: Report

Iranian thief hanged in public: Report
Tehran: Iran has publicly hanged a man convicted of repeated armed robbery and fighting police in a village in the central province of Markazi, the hardline Kayhan newspaper reported today.

Provincial judiciary chief Hekmat Ali Mozaffari said the man, whose name was not given, was executed yesterday in Mousa Abad village where he had operated an armed gang, the paper reported.

The man was also found guilty of "Moharebe" (waging war against God) through armed resistance to the security forces, Mozaffari said. The offence is punishable by death under Iran's penal code.

The website of Markazi's judiciary department meanwhile also reported the hangings of two men found guilty of drug trafficking in the province. They were executed in prison in the city of Arak in April, it said.

Possession of more than 30 grams of narcotics is punishable by death in Iran, as are murder, rape, armed robbery and adultery.

In late April, the judiciary website of Fars province reported hangings of four people in two separate executions, one of whom was found guilty of committing eight murders.

The other three were hanged in the southern city of Shiraz after being convicted for "armed robbery and kidnapping" as well as killing two policemen.

The latest hangings bring to 108 the number of executions reported in Iran so far in 2011, according to an AFP count based on media reports. Iranian media reported 179 hangings last year.

In 2009, the Islamic republic executed 388 people, according to international human rights groups, making it second only to China in the number of people it put to death.

Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.