TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Officials say two men in Iran have been stoned to death for adultery and murder, while another escaped death by digging his way out of the hole where he was buried to face a similar fate, according to media reports.
The sentences follow sharp criticism by human rights groups of Iran's use of such punishments.
Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi on Tuesday told reporters about the stonings, which took place in the northeastern city of Mashhad about 20 days ago, the reports said.
According to the Mashhad prosecutor, the men committed various crimes, including adultery and murder, Jamshidi said.
In the practice, the men are buried up to their chests and people pelt them with stones until they die.
A third was supposed to have been stoned to death. However, he freed himself by climbing out of the stone hole. He still awaits punishment.
"Stoning is a h
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