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Iran Hangs 3 Convicted Drug Traffickers: Judiciary

FILE - Protesters hold up a placard reading "Stop Execution in Iran" as they take part in a rally in support of the demonstrations in Iran, in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 22, 2022.

Iran executed three men convicted on drug trafficking charges, the judiciary said Sunday, the latest of hundreds of people hanged in the country since the start of the year.

The three men, described as members of a "drug cartel," were hanged after being convicted of "corruption on earth" for producing nearly 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of heroin, the judiciary's Mizan Online news website said.

The executions come one day after a man was hanged following a conviction over leading a human trafficking and prostitution ring.

On Friday, three other men were executed for killing members of the security forces in November during protests triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

Iran saw waves of nationwide protests following the September 16 death of 22-year-old Amini, an Iranian Kurd who had been arrested for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic's strict dress rules for women.

During the protests, which Tehran described as foreign instigated "riots," thousands of Iranians were arrested and hundreds killed, including dozens of security personnel.

Friday's executions were denounced by Western countries and human rights groups based outside Iran.

Iran executes more people a year than any other nation except China, according to human rights groups including Amnesty International.

The country hanged 75% more people in 2022 than the previous year, the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Paris-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) said in a joint report in April.

At least 582 people were executed in Iran last year, the highest number of executions in the country since 2015 and well above the 333 recorded in 2021, the two groups said.
But the pace of executions this year has been even higher so far, with IHR now counting at least 260 executions since the start of the year.