, TEHRAN, Mar 7 – Iran has hanged three Afghan nationals in a prison in Tehran after they were found guilty of raping an Afghan man\’s pregnant wife, the governmental Iran newspaper reported on Monday.
The report neither identified the culprits nor the victims, but said that the crime occurred around two years ago, and the men were sent to the gallows on Saturday.
The latest hangings bring to 92 the number of executions reported in Iran so far in 2011, according to an AFP count based on media reports. The authorities say 80 percent of those executed have been drug traffickers.
Iran media reported 179 hangings last year. In 2009, Iran executed 388 people, according to international human rights groups, making it second only to China in the number of people it put to death.
The Islamic republic says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.