Iran hangs another nine for rape, drugs
Tehran - Iran on Tuesday hanged three convicted rapists and six drug traffickers - one of them a woman - in different cities, local media reported.
Two of the men, aged 23 and 25, were hanged in public in the western city of Kermanshah, Fars news agency reported.
They were executed after being found guilty of raping a number of women, some of them university students. They were not identified.
Fars also said five men and one woman were hanged on Tuesday for drug trafficking, notably dealing in heroin. They were not identified either.
ISNA news agency also reported a young man convicted of rape and identified by the initials MS was hanged publicly on Tuesday in the central town of Saveh, some 120km southwest of the capital.
The hangings bring to 266 the number of executions in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on media and official reports.
Human Rights Watch counted 388 executions in Iran in 2010. Amnesty International put the figure at 252, ranking the Islamic republic second only to China in the number of people put to death last year.
Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are among the crimes punishable by death in Iran.