Iran hangs murderer in public
Iran on Wednesday hanged in public a man who committed a sensational murder captured on video, as well as a drug trafficker who was executed in a prison in the northeast of the country, reports said.
The public hanging of the murderer, identified only by his first name Yaqub, was carried out in front of a "large crowd" in northern Tehran's Kaj square, close to the neighbourhood where he had murdered a man named Mohammad Reza in October, state news agency IRNA said.
Iranian media in October reported that Yaqub stabbed Mohammad Reza to death in public and in front of two policemen.
The murder, which triggered widespread anger in the neighbourhood, gripped the attention of Iranians as videos of the brutal stabbing surfaced on the Internet and were shown on Iranian television channels for several days.
Iran widely uses the death penalty but convicts are rarely executed in public. The Islamic republic says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Separately, the ISNA news agency said that a convicted drug trafficker, identified only by his initials AA, was executed in a prison in the town of Shirvan in northeast Iran. No other details were given.
The latest hangings bring to 14 the number of executions reported in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP count based on media reports. At least 179 people were executed in 2010.
Along with China, Saudi Arabia and the United States, Iran has one of the highest numbers of executions each year.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are other crimes punishable by death in Iran.
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