Last updated: 18 September, 2011

Iran hangs convicted drug trafficker

Iran on Sunday hanged a convicted drug trafficker at a prison in the northwestern city of Qazvin, the Mehr news agency reported.

It identified the convicted trafficker as 39-year-old Elias Babai Chegini.

His hanging raises to 200 the number of executions reported in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on media and official reports.

Iranian media reported 179 hangings last year but international human rights groups say the actual number was much higher, ranking the Islamic republic second only to China in the number of people it executed in 2010.

Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are among the crimes punishable by death in Iran.