Page last updated at 06:10 GMT, Sunday, 27 July 2008 07:10 UK

Iran executes 29 in jail hangings

Map showing Iran

Reports from Iran say 29 people have been executed by hanging in Tehran.

Among them were convicts found guilty of murder, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking, state television IRIB reported on its website.

All the executions took place on Sunday morning in Tehran's Evin prison, the report said.

Amnesty International, the human rights group, said that last year Iran carried out 317 executions, a higher total than any other country apart from China.

The latest hangings were carried out after the death sentences were approved by the country's Supreme Court, IRIB reported.

"Twenty-nine drug smugglers and well-known bandits were hanged in Evin prison on Sunday at dawn," the statement said.

"These criminals had smuggled thousands of kilos of narcotics in the country and outside the country."

Human rights groups have accused Iran of making excessive use of the death penalty but Tehran insists it is an effective deterrent that is used only after a lengthy judicial process.

Iran executes juvenile offender
12 Jun 08 |  Middle East
Iran woman escapes stoning death
18 Mar 08 |  Middle East
Iran to limit execution in public
30 Jan 08 |  Middle East
Iran rapped over child executions
27 Jun 07 |  Middle East
Country profile: Iran
03 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific