16 Hangings; Four Tehran Radio Execs Jailed For Insulting Program
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Iran hanged 16 more people for various crimes and sentenced four Tehran Radio executives to jail Tuesday for a program that insulted Islam, official news reports said.
Ten women and one man were hanged Tuesday in the northwestern Iranian provinces of Zanjan and Markazi after they ″confessed to setting up dens of corruption and adultery,″ the Islamic Republic News Agency said, without elaborating.
The hanging verdicts were issued by the local Islamic courts, and confirmed by the Judicial High Council, said IRNA, monitored in Nicosia.
Earlier, IRNA reported five Afghan nationals, convicted of robbery and rape, were hanged publicly Monday in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
They were convicted of 13 charges brought against them, including armed robberies, rape and ″terrorizing people,″ IRNA said without giving details.
The London-based Amnesty International, which monitors human rights, on Monday called for international efforts to pressure Iran into halting what it described as a six-month campaign of political executions.
It said about 1,000 people were executed during that period.
Iran’s media, which is tightly controlled by the government, has reported few political executions in the past few months. But it has said some 132 drug smugglers have been executed this month as part of an anti-narcotics crackdown.
Tehran Radio’s broadcast director, Mohammad Arab Mazar-Yazdi, was sentenced by the Penal Court to five years in jail, and three other executives were sentenced to four years plus 50 lashes after a Saturday broadcast that offended Islam and angered Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, IRNA said.
IRNA did not say what exactly angered the patriarch of the Islamic revolution. But it said the episode of the d television, Mohammad Hashemi, on Sunday demanding that those responsible for airing Saturday’s episode of a daily program called ″Family″ be sacked and punished.
In the letter, text of which was carried by IRNA on Monday, Khomeini said: ″If proven that there was a deliberate insult, undoubtedly the person who has made the insult receives a death sentence.″
He also warned that if such an incident was repeated the entire adminstrative body of the radio and television ″will be severely punished.″
The other three executives sentenced were Mahmoud Abulqasemi, director of Islamic ideology; Hamid Khunmeri, head of supervision; and Mohammad Rasekh, editor of ideological programs, IRNA said.