Convicted Drug-Trafficker Executed In Iran: Report

Iran has hanged a convicted drug-trafficker in the southern city of Kerman, taking to more than 265 the number of persons executed in the Islamic Republic this year, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Omid A, was convicted of transporting and distributing 4,800 kilograms of opium and 150 kilograms of heroin, newspaper Vatan Emrouz said. He was hanged in the city's prison, the report added, without specifying the date of the execution.

Last year, Iran executed 246 persons, the highest number till then, in any country, barring China.

Tehran justifies imposing the death penalty, saying it is necessary for maintaining internal security, and is applied only after exhaustive judicial procedure. Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug-trafficking and adultery are punishable by death in the Islamic republic.

On December 18, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a strongly-worded resolution condemning "serious, ongoing and recurring human rights violations" in Iran, including the increasing number of hangings and stoning.

The resolution also condemned instances of discrimination, "brutal suppression" of women and ethnic as also religious minorities. It further condemned the perpetration of violence and intimidation by state-controlled militias of protestors, resulting in many deaths and injuries, mass trials, besides obtaining forced confessions through torture and rape.

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