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article imageVideo: Iran hangs two men publicly for armed robbery

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 21, 2013 in World
Tehran - The Iranian authorities hanged two men in public on Monday morning for armed robbery. Alireza Mafiha and Mohammad Ali-Sorouri, aged 23 and 21, were sentenced to death by a Tehran revolutionary court. The sentence was confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court.
According to the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Mafiha and Ali-Sorouri were paraded before "a crowd of nearly three hundred people" at 6:30 a.m.(0300 GMT) before they were executed.
Hindustan Times reports the two were convicted of "Moharebeh" ("waging war against God") and "corruption on earth."
Hindustan Times explains that under "Iran's interpretation of Islamic sharia law using firearms or knives and clubs in a crime are considered as Moharebeh, whose punishment is death sentence."
The Daily Mail describes the crime of "Moharebeh" as a broad charge that "covers actions ranging from anti-state organizing to violent assaults." Crimes such as drug trafficking, murder, adultery, rape and armed robbery are subject to death penalty in Iran.
The men were arrested along with two accomplices in December 2012 after a video showing a group of masked robbers on motorbikes armed with machetes, assaulting a man and robbing him of his money, bag and documents was posted to YouTube.
The 37-second clip was aired on state TV and caused widespread outrage among Iranians who are angry about the rising urban crime levels.
The Daily Mail claims that the men posted the video of themselves robbing the victim to YouTube.
NZ Week reports Mafiha and Sorouri's two accomplices were sentenced to ten years in jail and 74 lashes after which they will spend five years in exile in a small town.
Sorouri was reportedly stoical when the judge announced the death verdict, but Mafiha broke down and rested his head on the shoulder of a police officer who put an arm around him. The ISNA reports Mafiha had told the court that they committed the crime because they were poor.
Shortly after the verdict was read, nooses were placed around their necks and they were hanged to death.
Amnesty International says Iran is among nations with the highest number of annual executions along with United States, China and Saudi Arabia.
More about Iran, YouTube, Hang, Alizera Mafiha, Mohammad AliSorouri
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