Iran hangs eight drug traffickers

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Tehran - Iran on Monday hanged eight convicted drug traffickers in a prison in the southern city of Shiraz, the Fars news agency reported.

The report did not identify those executed but said they had been convicted of trafficking in a variety of drugs, including heroin, crack and synthetic narcotics.

The London-based Amnesty International said in its annual review of death sentences and executions worldwide published late March that Iran had executed at least 360 people, three-quarters of them for drugs offences, up from at least 252 in 2010.

Last year, 277 people were hanged, according to an AFP tally.

In 2010, the rights group Human Rights Watch counted 388 executions, while Amnesty International counted 252.

The Islamic republic is one of the world's main practitioners of capital punishment, a distinction shared with China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings. - Sapa-AFP


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