Iran hangs rapist in public

November 16, 2009 12:00 am

, TEHRAN, Nov 16 – Iran has hanged a convicted rapist in a public square in the northern city of Qaemshahr in the Caspian Sea Mazandaran province, the Kayhan newspaper reported on Monday.

The report identified the man hanged on Sunday as A.B. aged 24, who was convicted of raping his victim after posing as a taxi driver.

The report also said he had a prior criminal record which included robbery, kidnapping and engaging in an illicit relationship.

The reported public hanging comes despite a January 2008 statement by then Iran judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi that such executions would only be carried out with his approval and "based on social necessities."

The latest hanging brings to at least 251 the number of people executed in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP count based on news reports.

In 2008, Iran hanged 246 people, the highest number of executions carried out by any country bar China.

Tehran says the death penalty is a necessary tool for maintaining public security and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in the Islamic republic.


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