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Appeals Court in Iran approves death verdicts against eight kidnappers

The Appeals Court has approved death sentences against eight members of several gangs of kidnappers in the northeastern city of Mashhad, IRNA reported on Monday, quoting the press.

The Persian-language daily `Qods' quoted an informed judiciary official as saying that the court had rejected the verdicts against three members of the gangs from a total 20 death sentences, adding that the sentences against the rest of the kidnappers are still being studied at the court.

The source who was not identified by the daily also said that the gang members would be executed in public "to deter criminals and boost social security".

`Qods' further reported that as much as 317 members of different gangs involved in kidnapping and raping women had been arrested in Mashhad over the past Iranian year (ended March 21, 2003).

... Payvand News - 5/5/03 ... --

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