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Iran Hangs 10 Convicted Murders, Media Report

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran hanged 10 convicted murderers in Tehran's Evin prison before dawn on January 21 but one man's execution was postponed for a month, according to media reports.

"Eleven individuals sentenced to death went to the gallows yesterday...One of them returned to his cell after receiving a reprieve," government newspaper "Iran" said.

The "Etemad-e Melli" daily said the man's execution was postponed because the family of his victim was not present.

Under Iran's Islamic law, Shari'a, the family of a murder victim can pardon the killer in exchange for financial compensation, so-called "blood money."

Of the 10 who were hanged, 35-year-old Reza was convicted of killing his wife and two members of her family "in a horrible crime because of differences with his wife," "Iran" reported, without giving his last name.

Nine convicted murderers, including a woman, were hanged in the same jail on December 24.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, and drug trafficking are all punishable by death in Iran.

European governments and Western rights groups have criticized Iran for an increasing number of executions since authorities launched a clampdown on "immoral behavior" in 2007.

Amnesty International has listed the Islamic state as the world's second-most prolific executioner in 2007, after China.

Iran says it is implementing Islamic law and rejects accusations it is violating human rights, accusing the West of double standards and hypocrisy.