Report: Iran executes 22 people on drug charges

TEHRAN - Iran hanged 22 people convictedof drug trafficking, a newspaper reported on Monday, the latestmass executions by a state that has the highest per capita deathpenalty rate in the world, according to rights groups.

The hangings happened on Sunday at two prisons, Evin inTehran and Rajai Shahr, just outside the capital, Iran dailysaid.

"Subsequent to the trials of 22 big-time traffickers, theIslamic Revolutionary Court found them guilty based on theexisting evidence and handed down execution sentences," itreported.

Amnesty International says Iran is second only to China forthe total number of executions carried out. Tehran dismissescriticism of its justice system, saying it is implementingIslamic law and responding to a major drugs problem.

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