Iran hangs two men for blasphemy

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DUBAI (Reuters) -Iran has executed two people who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy, the judiciary's news website Mizan reported on Monday, drawing an angry reaction from human rights group Amnesty International.

Yousef Mehrdad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare were executed for crimes including blasphemy, insulting the religion of Islam, the prophet and other sanctities, Mizan reported.

The website reported that the two were running dozens of online anti-religion platforms dedicated to the hatred of Islam, the promotion of atheism and insults to sanctities.

Amnesty International condemned the executions on its Twitter page for Iran.

"Today's execution of Yousef Mehrdad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare for 'apostasy' marks a shocking new low for Iran's authorities & only furthers Iran’s pariah status," it wrote.

"They were hanged solely for social media posts in a grotesque assault on the rights to life and freedom of religion."

U.N. experts have called on majority Shi'ite Muslim Iran to stop the persecution and harassment of religious minorities pointing to an Iranian policy of targeting dissenting beliefs or religious practices, including Christian converts and atheists.

(Reporting by Elwely Elwelly; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Robert Birsel)