Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Mass execution for Iran murderers

Iran map

Ten convicted murderers have been put to death in a single day in Iran, state media says.

The men were hanged on Wednesday morning at a jail in the capital, Tehran, the Iran newspaper reported.

The BBC's correspondent in Iran says the authorities have taken to carrying out mass executions because they see it as an extra deterrent.

Iran is thought to have put to death more than 150 people last year. Rights groups say only China executes more.

The latest executions took place at Evin prison in Tehran.

According to government-owned media, the convicts included a robber who killed a taxi driver, a drug addict who killed his aunt, and another man who murdered three members of a family with whom he was having a dispute.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.

The government does not publish figures on executions, so estimates on the numbers of people put to death are often based on media reports.

Most criminals are hanged, but two men were recently stoned to death for adultery.

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Tehran, says pictures of the convicts making their way to the gallows are sometimes shown on state TV.

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