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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 19:14 GMT 20:14 UK
Death verdicts for Iran reporters
Iran hangings (File pic)
Iran was criticised for executing large numbers of people
Iran has sentenced two dissident journalists from its ethnic Kurdish minority for being "enemies of God".

Rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), says Adnan Hassanpour and Hiva Boutimar were sentenced by a court in the eastern city of Marivan.

The two journalists have 20 days to appeal against their sentences, but if their cases are rejected by the Supreme Court the sentence will be carried out.

Iran has executed over 100 people so far in 2007, most of them by hanging.

A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said that the two journalists had "taken arms to topple the system".

No further details were released about the reasons for their sentencing, but the two are members of the Kurdish minority.

Iran's Kurds are concentrated in the north-west of the country, near the border with Iraq, which itself is home to a large Kurdish minority.

RSF called the death sentences against Mr Hassanpour and Mr Botimar "outrageous and shameful".

It said the two were writing for a Kurdish news magazine before it was banned in 2005.

Death sentences are rarely imposed against journalists in Iran, but rights groups often report that Tehran imprisons pro-reform writers, journalists and intellectuals without due legal process.


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