The Iranian authorities say they have executed three men convicted of raping women they had lured to an “unauthorized beauty salon” and injecting them with anesthetic drugs.
The trio was found guilty of conspiring in 12 cases of sexual assault in late 2021 in the southern province of Hormozgan and was hanged in Bandar Abbas prison on July 4, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported.
One of the convicts, a medical assistant, lured seven victims to the fake cosmetic surgery clinic with “false advertisements” for cosmetic procedures posted online, injected them with an anesthetic drug and raped them.
The report said that the other two, both nurses, were executed over five cases of rape, as well as charges relating to the theft of the drugs.
The executions bring to seven the number of people executed so far this year on rape charges, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group said in a statement.
“In cases of rape, there is a high chance of defendants being tortured to make false confessions” that are then used to issue death sentences, it said.
According to the group’s latest annual report on the death penalty in Iran, at least 23 people were executed on rape charges last year, compared to 10 in 2021 and 12 the previous year.
Amnesty International says the Islamic Republic executes more people than any other country except China and hanged at least 582 people last year, the highest number since 2015.