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Iran hangs rapist

Iran today hanged a convicted rapist in the southern city of Shahrekord, the state television website reported.

world Updated: Jun 18, 2011 19:45 IST

Iran on Saturday hanged a convicted rapist in the southern city of Shahrekord, the state television website reported.

It said the unidentified man was found guilty of raping a woman doctor in the nearby town of Broujen. The latest hanging brings to 156 the number of executions reported in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP count based on media and official reports.

Iranian media reported 179 hangings last year.

But international human rights groups say the actual number was much higher, ranking the Islamic republic second only to China in the number of people it put to death.

Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings. Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are among the crimes punishable by death in Iran.