World News

Iran to hang 30 for murder and other crimes

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran plans to execute 30 people in the capital Tehran on Sunday for murder, drug smuggling and other crimes, newspapers reported on Saturday.

Police have arrested dozens of people in recent weeks in a new crackdown on “immoral behaviour” in the Islamic Republic, whose human rights record is often criticised in the West.

Etemad-e Melli daily said 20 of those to be executed on Sunday were drug traffickers and 10 were murderers. It said many of them had committed more than one crime.

“Thirty people convicted of crimes such as murder, drug smuggling, disrupting public security, illegal relationships and stealing will be executed at dawn on Sunday,” the daily quoted Tehran’s prosecutor office as saying.

Iran usually carries out executions in prison, by hanging.

At least 10 people were hanged in the country in July. In September last year, 21 people were executed in one day, in two different locations.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Iran’s Sharia law, enforced since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

Amnesty International in April listed Iran as the world’s second most prolific executioner last year, with at least 317 people put to death, trailing only China which carried out 470 death sentences.

Iran rejects accusations it is violating human rights and accuses the West of double standards and hypocrisy.

Editing by Catherine Evans