UK & World News
Iran Execution Survivor Saved From Hanging
An Iranian man who was found alive in a morgue after a botched execution will not be hanged for a second time.
Iran has decided to spare the life of convicted drug trafficker, identified only as Alireza M, following calls from within Iran and appeals from international rights groups against a second execution.
Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi told the official IRNA news agency: "The convict who survived (the death penalty) will not be executed again.
"After putting much effort to prevent the second execution of this convict, we have received a positive response."
Earlier this month the man was pronounced dead by the attending doctor after hanging for 12 minutes from a noose suspended from a crane at a jail in the country's northeast.
But the next day, staff at the mortuary in the city of Bojnord discovered Alireza M was still breathing.
Media later reported that he had fallen into a coma.
All judicial affairs and decisions in the Islamic republic rest with the judiciary, which constitutionally operates independently from the government.
The incident led to a heated debate between jurists, with some arguing against a repeat hanging and others for.
According to the media, a petition signed by jurists and attorneys was sent to judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, appealing for a stay in the exceptional case.
Amnesty International also called for an immediate stay of execution.
Iran has one of the highest rates of execution in the world, with more than 500 cases last year and some 508 executions so far this year, according to Human Rights Watch.
Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are among the crimes punishable by death in Iran, based on its interpretation of sharia law in force since its 1979 Islamic revolution.