News: Eight drug traffickers hanged in Iran

IRAN has reportedly hanged eight drug traffickers in a prison in the southeastern city of Kerman.

Fars news agency reported the first names of the eight, and did not say when the executions were carried out or if the condemned were all hanged at the same time.

The latest hangings bring the number of executions in Iran to at least 125 this year, according to an AFP count based on media reports. At least 270 people were hanged in 2009.

Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain public security and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in the Islamic republic.
Iran is among the countries that execute the most people each year, along with China, Saudi Arabia and the US.

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