Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Iran hangs 10 for murder, at least 26 executed this year

AFP , TEHRAN

Iran has hanged 10 men convicted of murder in a mass execution in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, the government Iran newspaper reported yesterday. The executions of the men, aged between 21 and 42, were carried out on Wednesday morning, the report said.

Iran also hanged 12 other men on Tuesday and Wednesday in other cities, press reports said.

Among those hanged at Evin prison was an Afghan national, Molagol Hassan, who had killed his compatriot, identified as Fakhredin, in 2004 after stealing his money, the Iran said.

The newspaper said that a 25-year-old man, identified only as Ali, had been lined up for the gallows but was spared the death penalty after he managed to convince the victim’s family to accept blood money.

The family can spare a murderer from execution by accepting blood money for the victim’s life, leaving the convict to serve only a jail term.

Iran has stepped up its use of the death penalty in an unprecedented crackdown in a bid, it says, to improve security in society, triggering protests from Western right groups.

The latest hangings bring to at least 26 the number of executions in Iran so far this year.

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