World News

Iran hangs Baha'i man for raping daughter - report

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A follower of the Baha’i faith has been executed after his daughter complained he had raped her, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

Baha’is say hundreds of their followers have been jailed and executed since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. The government denies it has detained or executed people for their religion.

Fars gave no details of court proceedings and did not make clear when the man, identified as Houshang Khodadad, was hanged.

“He ... was imprisoned and executed in Torbat-e Heydarieh (in eastern Iran) after his daughter complained he had raped her,” the news agency said, adding that charges included rape and incest.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are punishable by death under Iran’s sharia law.

Baha’is regard their faith’s 19th-century founder as the latest in a line of prophets including Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammad. Iran’s Shi’ite religious establishment considers the faith a heretical offshoot of Islam.

The Baha’i faith originated in Iran 150 years ago and Baha’is say they number 5 million worldwide, including an estimated 300,000 or more in Iran.

The Baha’i International Community which represents the faith operates under a governing council which is based in Israel, Iran’s arch foe, according to its website