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Iran executes six of 11 people condemned to hang, spares three
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posted January 18, 2001 09:09
TEHRAN, Jan 17 (AFP) - Six of 11 people due to be hanged simultaneously in Iran were executed at dawn Wednesday, state radio reported. Three of the condemned men were forgiven by the victims' families, and thereby spared, while the radio said the hanging of the remaining two had been put off till later.
The Supreme Court recently confirmed sentences on the men, mostly aged between 20 and 30. Their names were not revealed.
All were found guilty of at least one murder.
The executions went ahead despite an eleventh hour appeal by the human rights group Amnesty International Tuesday, calling for urgent action to dissuade the Iranian authorities from allowing a total of 16 planned executions to go ahead.
In a fax received by AFP in Nicosia, the London-based rights group called for people around the world to ask the country's leaders for an immediate halt to the executions.
It recommended that the correspondence express "sympathy for the victims of violence crime" and recognise the duty to bring suspects to justice, but also state "your unconditional opposition to the death penalty
It is the first time for several years that such a large number of people have been hanged on the same day in Iran.
The executions were in accordance with Iran's Islamic law of qesas -- or the principle of justice that takes an eye for an eye in retribution -- in force since the 1979 Islamic revolution here.
The families of the victims can, however, offer their pardons in exchange for "dieh" (blood money), or simply to "please God".
All times are PT (US)
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