Iran picks up pace of executions

Jan. 10, 2008 at 2:37 PM

TEHRAN, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Iran has hanged 23 people for murder and drug trafficking and amputated the limbs of five more convicted of armed robbery since Jan. 1.

The most recent executions took place Wednesday, The New York Times reported. Iranian newspapers said that two men convicted of murder were hanged in Jahorm in the south, and three others put to death for drug trafficking in Birjand. Two more executions for murder were reported in Tonekabon in the north on an unspecified date.

Iran began the year with 13 executions on Jan. 1. One of those put to death was Raheleh Zamani, a 27-year-old woman who killed her husband four years ago. Feminist groups say that Zamani, married at 15, had been abused by her husband.

The government announced the amputations this week, saying that the right hands and left feet of five men had been cut off in Sistan-Baluchistan, a province near the Pakistan border. Human rights groups condemned the sentences, and especially the unusual move of depriving the condemned of both a hand and a foot.

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