News / Middle East

Iranian Convict Faces Second Hanging

Men prevent execution of convict after being pardoned by family of policeman he murdered, Mashhad, northeastern Iran, May 8, 2013.
Men prevent execution of convict after being pardoned by family of policeman he murdered, Mashhad, northeastern Iran, May 8, 2013.
VOA News
Iran's chief justice faced competing calls Thursday about whether to spare a convicted drug trafficker who was found alive at a morgue a day after being hanged.
The prisoner, identified only as 37-year-old Alireza M., was pronounced dead by an attending doctor after initially being "put to death" at a government prison in northeastern Iran.
But according to official state media, when the prisoner’s family went to collect his body the following day he was found to still be breathing.
He is currently hospitalized, but a judge reportedly said he would be executed again “once medical staff confirm his health condition is good enough.”
An Iranian human rights lawyer specializing in death penalty cases, Mohammad Mostafaei, says Iran’s chief justice has the power to stop the double execution.
"Legally, someone who was already hanged, and remains alive, can be hanged again," he said. "But families of the victims in these types of situations have the right to ask for a stay of execution and in Alireza’s case it’s inhumane to hang him again."
A group of Iranian lawyers signed a petition to Chief Justice Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani appealing for a stay in the exceptional case.
The rights group Amnesty International urged Iranian authorities immediately halt Alireza M.’s execution and issue a moratorium on all others.
Amnesty representative Philip Luther said "carrying out a second execution on a man who somehow managed to survive 12 minutes of hanging — who was certified as dead and whose body was about to be turned over to his family — is simply ghastly."
He said the situation "betrays a basic lack of humanity that sadly underpins much of Iran’s justice system."
According to the rights group, Iranian authorities have executed at least 508 people in 2013, including 221 executions that have not been officially confirmed. Amnesty claims the majority of these were connected to drug offences.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Change Iran Now from: USA
October 19, 2013 12:24 AM
Iran has a long and notorious history for the torture and severe treatment of its political prisoners and dissenters. It's an unfortunate aspect of the rule under Iran's mullahs who like any other tyrant are more concerned with preserving their power and hold over the people than in governing and leading them into a better future. Khamenei and his handpicked president Rouhani are going to chart a course for Iran that leaves little doubt over the fate of Christians, converts, political opponents, ethnic minorities and all others who are not in lock step with their Islamic view of the world. For all of the attempts at portraying a new moderate face of Iran, Rouhani is a loyal career hardliner. You can see his resume at The only real hope for Iran's future and political prisoners is regime change.

by: Qudratullah from: Domail
October 18, 2013 5:06 AM
Man is really cruel and wrong.

by: Florence Masajuwa from: I. U, Okada, Nigeria
October 18, 2013 1:21 AM
I join others in appealing to the government and good people of Iran to pardon Alireza M from 'dying' a second time. He is simply a lucky man and only God knows why he survived all the ordeals in the first place.

by: John el-amin from: US
October 17, 2013 7:44 PM
Does Amnesty International have any comment on US drone strikes, targeted assisinations by Israel and NATO bombings in Africa as human rights violations ? Or is the correct name of this NGO - Amnesia International ?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs