Iran executes 29 criminals

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Dubai, Jul 27: Iran's State television's website said 29 criminals convicted of murder, drug trafficking and other criminal charges have been hanged in Tehran's Evin prison.

After China, Iran executed maximum number of people last year according to the Rome based Hands Off Cain, an organisation that campaigns against death penalty.The Iranian web site said the convicts were charged with murder, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking, and the death penalty was approved by the Iranian Supreme Court.Murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and drug trafficking are all punishable with the death penalty under Iran's strict Islamic Sharia regime, just like in Saudi Arabia. The hangings brought to more than 100 number of people executed in Iran so far this year.

Executions jumped by a third in Iran and quadrupled in Saudi Arabia last year, causing the total number of executions around the world to rise yet again in 2007, Hands Off Cain reported, adding that China remained far in front as the world's top executioner.

It said China executed 5000, (though the exact number is not known), Iran 355 and Saudi Arabia sent to death 166 people last year. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia executed minors in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Pakistan also continued an upward trend, executing at least 134 people.

The US remained the only country in the America that carried out death sentences in 2007 - putting 42 people to death.

UNI

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