Tehran: Iran on Saturday hanged a convicted
rapist in the southern city of Shahrekord, the state
television website reported.
It said the unidentified man was found guilty of
raping a woman doctor in the nearby town of Broujen.
The latest hanging brings to 156 the number of
executions reported in Iran so far this year, according to a news agency count based on media and official reports.
Iranian media reported 179 hangings last year. But
international human rights groups say the actual number was
much higher, ranking the Islamic republic second only to China
in the number of people it put to death.
Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain
law and order, and applied only after exhaustive judicial
proceedings. Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and
adultery are among the crimes punishable by death in Iran.