In Brief

Iran executes ‘Sultan of Coins’

Vahid Mazloumin sentenced to death for hoarding gold and other currency

Iran has executed two currency traders, including one nicknamed the “Sultan of Coins”, for allegedly amassing two tonnes of gold coins.

Vahid Mazloumin and his business associate, Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi, were found guilty of “spreading corruption on earth” and sentenced to death for hoarding gold and other currency in what Tehran says was an attempt to manipulate the market.

The Tehran Times says the pair were sent to the “gallows” on Wednesday morning local time, in a move that Amnesty International quickly condemned as “horrific” and a violation of international law.

“Use of the death penalty is appalling under any circumstances,” Amnesty said, adding that under international law “the death penalty is absolutely forbidden for non-lethal crimes, such as financial corruption”.

The BBC reports that, in August, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “approved a judicial request to set up special courts to deal with those suspected of financial crimes”.

Since then, several people have been sentenced to death for financial crimes in trials that are often broadcast on state television.

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