Five men hanged in Zahedan and Isfahan
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Tehran, Iran, Mar. 10 - Iranian authorities hanged five men in central and south-eastern Iran earlier this week, state media reported.
A man, identified only as Mostafa M., 34, was hanged on Sunday in a prison in Isfahan, central Iran, the semi-official daily Kayhan wrote on Monday. He was accused of murder.
Four other men, whose identities were not given, were hanged on Monday in a prison in Zahedan, the official state news agency IRNA reported on Monday. They were accused of kidnapping and murder.
Zahedan is the capital of Sistan-va-Baluchistan Province which is home to Baluchis, a predominantly Sunni Muslim ethnic minority.
Iran has witnessed escalating unrest since 2006 in areas populated by Baluchis, who complain of discriminatory and repressive policies by the theocratic regime.
Since 2006, Iranian authorities have stepped up executions in the restive province in what many Baluchis believe is a response to a spate of attacks by dissidents on government and security officials.
Iranian authorities routinely execute dissidents on bogus charges such as armed robbery and drug trafficking.
At least 59 people were executed in Iran in January.
Iran's judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi confirmed in January that two men had been stoned to death for adultery in Mashhad in December while a third man managed to struggle out of the hole he had been buried in.