Iran moves to limit public executions

Iran's judiciary chief has ordered a halt to public executions in the Islamic Republic unless they have his approval, his spokesman said on Wednesday. While those convicted of crimes like murder, drug smuggling and rape would still be hanged behind prison walls, the move by Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi appeared designed to lower the public profile of an increasing number of executions in Iran.


European governments and Western rights groups have criticised Iran for the hangings, many of them in public, since authorities launched a clampdown on "immoral behavior" In July. (Reuters)