Iran has hanged 21 men in the latest of a series of executions that have been criticized by the EU and human rights groups. Authorities executed 17 convicted drug smugglers in the north-eastern province Razavi Khorasan and four criminals in the southern city of Shiraz. The hanging of the four men in Shiraz was reportedly watched by large crowds. The number of executions in Iran has risen since July, when police launched a crackdown on “immoral behavior.” Murder, rape, adultery, armed robbery, apostasy and drug smuggling are all punishable by death under the Islamic state’s particular version of Sharia law. (BBC)

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