Iran has hanged 14 people in Tehran after they were convicted of drug trafficking. A statement from the Tehran prosecutor's office on May 21 identified them only by their initials.
The London-based Amnesty International rights group said in its annual review of death sentences and executions worldwide published in March that Iran executed at least 360 people in 2011, three-quarters of them for drugs offenses, up from at least 252 in 2010.
Tehran considers the death penalty essential for maintaining law and order, and insists that it is only applied after exhaustive judicial proceedings. \
Murder, rape, armed robbery and trafficking more than five kilograms of drugs are among crimes punishable by death.
The Islamic republic is one of the world's main users of capital punishment, along with China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa
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