Iran hangs five convicts in one day, state media says

Iran has hanged five men convicted of murder, official media reported on Thursday. The state-owned IRAN newspaper said the five, who were identified only by their first names, were executed Wednesday in the notorious Evin prison just north of the capital, Teheran. The hanging brought to 28 the number of people executed since the beginning of 2008. They were convicted of murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping, which along with drug trafficking, are all capital offenses in the Islamic Republic. The report came a day after Iran's chief judge ordered that executions in the country would no longer take place in public. The reasons for the decree by the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, were not immediately clear. The judge also banned publishing pictures and broadcasting video footage of executions. In the second half of 2007, Iran executed more than 55 people, mostly in the open.