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Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 12:24 UK

Iran hangs nine convicts in jail

Amnesty International protest outside the Iranian embassy in west London, on April 20, 2009
The executions follow days after the controversy over Darabi's death

Iran has executed nine people by hanging for various offences, including four convicted murders and five drug traffickers, state media has reported.

The convicted murderers included Zeynab Nazarzadeh, 30, found guilty of killing her husband with a hammer.

They were executed in Tehran's Evin prison on Wednesday, while the drugs traffickers were sent to the gallows in the southern city of Kerman.

At least 94 people have been executed in Iran in 2009, media reports say.

Rights groups say in past years Iran has applied the death penalty more than any other country apart from China.

Vatan Emrooz newspaper identified the men hanged in Evin as Hamid Mohammadi, Safarali Nassiri and Hosseinali Robatseyli.

Details such as the names and the dates of the executions in Kerman were not published in the official media.

State-run Iranian radio quoted the Justice Department as saying the smugglers all had previous criminal records and were convicted of being in possession of 8kg of heroin and being accomplice to the purchase and delivery of more than 6kg of heroin.

Last Friday, Iran provoked international criticism for executing a young woman, Delara Darabi, who was convicted for a murder committed when she was 17. Rights groups said she had not been given a fair trial.



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