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Iran executes two men for rape: report

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran, criticized by rights groups for its policy of executing some criminals, hanged two men on Saturday for rape, a local news agency reported

“The two accused were hanged today at Evin prison with blue ropes around their necks so as to serve as a lesson for all aggressors,” the semi-official Fars agency quoted the head of Tehran criminal affairs court Fakhreddin Jafarzadeh as saying.

Fars said the rape was committed last year.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and apostasy -- the renouncing of religion, -- are all punishable by death under sharia, Islamic law.

Rights groups say Iran has one of the highest execution rates in the world. New York-based Human Rights Watch said last week Iran should issue a moratorium on capital punishment.

Thursday Iran hanged two men convicted of “moharebeh” (waging war against God) in the wake of unrest that erupted after last year’s disputed presidential re-election of hard-liner President Mahmoud Ahmadeinejad.

Editing by Matthew Jones