Iran executes 14 people

c_250_150_16777215_00___images_stories_news_execution_131109.jpgDUBAI (Reuters) – Iran hanged 14 people convicted of drug trafficking on Monday, the official IRNA news agency reported, the latest mass executions by a country that has been criticised by human rights groups for its high death penalty rate.IRNA said the hangings happened on Monday morning and all those executed were convicted of smuggling and keeping drugs.

“Those convicted had requested to be forgiven but after their cases were reviewed, the request was denied,” it said.Iran has been criticised by Western human rights groups for its high rate of executions. Tehran dismisses criticism of its justice system, saying it is implementing Islamic law and responding to a major drugs problem.

Iran is a transit route for narcotics smuggled from neighbouring Afghanistan, which produces more than 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium. More than 3,500 Iranian security personnel have been killed fighting drug smugglers since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and apostasy — the renouncing of Islam — are all punishable by death under Iran’s Islamic law practiced since the revolution.