Iran 'to hang two Afghans' for rape of French hiker

Two Afghan men sentenced to death for raping a 24-year-old French tourist as she was hiking north of Tehran on September 19 last year had pleaded not guilty (AFP Photo/Atta Kenare) (AFP/File)

Tehran (AFP) - Iran sentenced to death two Afghans convicted of raping a French tourist hiking in the high mountains just north of Tehran, a government newspaper reported on Thursday.

Two other defendants, who absconded during the trial, remain at large, the Iran daily said.

Both men convicted had pleaded not guilty to the charge of raping the 24-year-old tourist as she was hiking in the Farahzad district on September 19 last year.

She was rescued by a fifth Afghan.

The court fined a sixth Afghan for helping the two absconders to flee the country, the government daily said.

More than three million Afghans live in Iran, many of them refugees from the conflict that has devastated their homeland for decades. Only a third of them have legal residency.