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29 convicts executed in Iran

  • Story Highlights
  • Twenty-nine convicts were hanged, according to Iranian state TV
  • Convicts were found guilty of murder, rape, armed robbery and other charges
  • Judiciary said hangings should serve as warning to those contemplating crimes
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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Twenty-nine people convicted of various crimes, ranging from murder to being a public nuisance while drunk, were hanged in Iran, state TV said.

A convicted Iranian drug dealer is hanged from a crane in the southern city of Shiraz in September.

A convicted Iranian drug dealer is hanged from a crane in the southern city of Shiraz in September.

Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported earlier that 30 people would be put to death. It was not immediately clear if the last person's life was spared.

The Iranian judiciary's statement said that all 30 were convicted of various crimes, which included: murder, murder in commission of a crime, disturbing public safety and security, being a public nuisance while drunk and being involved in illegal relationships -- relationships between men and women who are not married to each other.

Kidnapping and using weapons while committing a crime were also among the charges.

The statement also said that 20 of the convicts were convicted of drug and alcohol dealing, armed robbery and smuggling arms.

The judiciary statement said that the convicts had their cases tried by the highest judicial authorities and were found guilty of the charges brought against them. The verdicts were final with their sentences carried out on Sunday.

The judiciary said the hangings should serve as a warning to those who are contemplating committing such crimes, the agency reported.

The statement also said that several other individuals are currently awaiting trial and their sentences will be carried out as soon as the verdicts are pronounced by the courts.

According to Amnesty International, Iran executed 317 people last year, second only to China's 470.

Iran's government launched a campaign March 20 to increase public security and bring the crime rate down.

Police cracked down on alleged drug dealers, whom they called criminal gang members, and alleged habitual criminals who use guns in the commission of their crime. Alleged weapons smugglers and people who break social and religious laws, including adulterers, were also targets.

National television showed scenes of what were described as criminals being paraded publicly in chains as a deterrent to others. The wave of arrests has now subsided, as officials are now prosecuting the alleged criminals and sentencing those convicted.

Journalist Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.

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