Iran hangs Afghan in public

Bam, Iran, August 8 – A young Afghan man was hanged in public on Monday on a highway close to the ancient city of Bam, southern Iran, the government-run news agency Fars reported.

The man, identified as Najib Karzahi, was hanged in public in the presence of the deputy commander of a local Revolutionary Guards garrison, Qassem Rezai; the governor of Bam, Majid Etemadi; and a number of other provincial officials.

He was accused of taking part in an armed attack on a group of people in May. Karzahi was also accused of membership in an armed Baluchi group calling itself Jondollah.

In March, the group claimed responsibility for an armed attack on a convoy of government officials in the province of Sistan-va-Baluchistan, which left twenty-two government and provincial officials dead and at least seven, including the governor of the city of Zahedan, critically wounded.

The group claims that it does not target civilians.

Kerman Province has witnessed a sharp rise in protests and strikes by students, workers, and disenchanted citizens.

There have been a series of large anti-government protests in the earthquake-stricken city of Bam, since the ancient city was devastated in December 2003. Iranian authorities have been severely criticized by survivors for failing to provide adequate support more than 18 months after the quake which left at least 100,000 dead or injured.