ImageIran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jul. 03 - Iranian authorities on Thursday hanged six people in the holy city of Qom, central Iran.

Iran Focus

ImageTehran, Iran, Jul. 03 - Iranian authorities on Thursday hanged six people in the holy city of Qom, central Iran, state media reported.

All six were hanged in a prison, the state-run news agency Fars reported. They were accused of drug trafficking.

Six people were hanged on Wednesday in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, the state-run news agency ISNA reported, without identifying them. They were accused of murder.

Iranian authorities routinely execute dissidents on bogus charges such as armed robbery and drug trafficking.

Since the 12 June presidential election, millions of people have taken part in anti-government rallies in Tehran and other major cities, protesting the re-appointment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following the election which they believe was rigged. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on 19 June rallied behind Ahmadinejad and demanded protestors stop their action. Demonstrators have since directed their protests at the entirety of the clerical establishment, with chants of “death to Khamenei”.

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a ranking cleric, on Friday said, "Anyone who takes up arms to fight with the people is worthy of execution."

Those who disturbed the peace and destroyed public property were "at war with God" and should be "mercilessly dealt with", Khatami said in a nationally televised sermon.

Evin Prison was built by the Shah’s regime as a modern security prison to house political dissidents, but it became the Islamic Republic’s most dreaded gulag and the site of thousands of political executions. Ward 209 is exclusively set aside for political prisoners.

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