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Iran increases hangings for law breakers

By Katerina Nikolas     Sep 13, 2011 in World
The number of executions in Iran is on the increase with 18 hangings in the last week. Three men were executed for gay sex, whilst another was punished for murdering a woman who rejected his marriage proposal.
Iran has increased the number of those hanged in recent months, with the latest round of executions featuring men convicted of gay sex, drug trafficking and murder. According to Kurdish Blogger 18 men have been executed in the last week alone.
Under Iran’s Shariah law the death sentence can be imposed for murder, rape, adultery, armed robbery and apostasy, but by far the largest number of convictions are for drug trafficking. The latter has increased immensely as the opium trade has expanded enormously since the American presence in neighboring Afghanistan.
In a case that bears striking similarities to that of Ameneh Bahrami, a young female student was stabbed to death by a fellow student she refused to marry. GMA News reports that a man identified as Kousha become besotted with a fellow student. He said “I fell in love with Mahsa when I saw her for the first time. I asked her to marry me but she turned my proposal down.” Stricken by the thought she may leave the country after graduation he stated “I took my knives and stabbed her.” The attack took place in front of witnesses and Kousha was hanged on Tuesday in Saadt Abad, Tehran.
In the case of Ameneh Bahrami a suitor threw acid in her face when she refused to marry him. Ameneh was left facially disfigured and blind, and under Shariah law she had the right to subject her attacker to an equal punishment. Majid Movahedi, her attacker, was sentenced to prison and Ameneh elected to have him blinded by acid as retribution. Amnesty International condemned the decision to blind Movahedi as a "cruel punishment which amounts to torture" and stated it is "prohibited under international law". At the last moment Ameneh decided to spare her attacker and ask for blood money in place of the blinding.
The public execution of Kousha on Tuesday was just two days after three men were executed in Iran on Sunday for having gay sex. According to it is up to the Iranian judge to decide the punishment for homosexuality. An Iranian spokesman declared that such hangings were rare. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied that Iran has homosexuality exists in the country, saying “We don’t have that in our country. In Iran we don’t have this phenomenon."Hanging has become the most popular form of execution in Iran since it garnered much international condemnation for stoning a woman convicted of adultery to death.
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