Two murderers hanged in Iran

2009-07-04 08:28

Tehran - Two Iranian men convicted of murder have been hanged in a prison in the southern city of Shiraz, Etemad newspaper reported on Saturday.

The latest hangings bring to at least 141 the number of people executed in the Islamic republic so far this year, according to an AFP count based on news reports.

In 2008, Iran executed 246 people, based on that count.

Human rights group Amnesty International has calculated that Iran applied the death penalty to 346 people last year, carrying out more executions than any other country apart from China.

Tehran says the death penalty is a necessary tool for maintaining public security and is only applied after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

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