Two men, convicted of rape, were publicly hanged this morning in the northwestern Iranian city of Kermanshah.
ISNA reports that P. Poshtehrizeh was convicted of raping a 12-year-old boy and filming the crime. A. Namaki was convicted of raping a nine-year-old girl. The Kermanshah court handed down the death sentences, which were later approved by the Supreme Court.
In the past month, more than 25 people have been hanged in Iran for crimes of rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking. Some of these sentences were carried out in public.
AFP reports that since the beginning of 2011, Iran has executed at least 143 people.
Speaking at today’s hangings, Mojtaba Maleki, the Prosecutor General of Kermanshah, said carrying out “divine laws” is the mark of “stability and strength of the Islamic government.” He added: “We can never sacrifice the execution of divine laws and sentences for the false claimants of human rights and foreigners.”
Maleki said the Iranian judiciary is “firm and unrelenting when dealing with crimes that disrupt public peace and safety.” He added that the death sentence works as a warning to other criminals.
Iran has the highest number of annual executions in the world after China. Amnesty International reports that at least 252 people were executed in Iran in 2010.
Several human rights groups have reported on secret mass executions carried out in Iran which are not included in the official statistics.