Iran hangs two men for attack posted on YouTube

DUBAI Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:05pm IST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran hanged two men on Sunday for their role in an assault that was filmed and posted on YouTube, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported.

A 37-second video posted on YouTube in December and later shown on Iranian state television showed four masked men approaching the victim on motorcycles, and then two of them assaulting him, taking his bag and jacket. One of the attackers appeared to be wielding a long knife or machete.

The attack prompted public outrage, and officials vowed to punish those responsible.

Alireza Mafiha and Mohammad Ali Sorouri were hanged early on Sunday in the Iranian capital, Tehran, according to ISNA.

They were convicted of "moharebe", or waging war against God, which under Iran's interpretation of Islamic law is punishable by death. Their sentence was issued by a Revolutionary Court in late December, ISNA said.

"The issue of security for our people is more important even than daily bread," said Sadeq Larijani, head of Iran's judiciary, in December.

Two accomplices were sentenced to 10 years in prison and 74 lashes, ISNA reported.

Iran carries out one of the world's highest number of annual executions, according to rights group Amnesty International, which has called on the Islamic Republic to commute death sentences.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Alison Williams)

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