An Iranian man hung for drug possession has survived his sentence but may be hung again, a punishment international human rights group Amnesty International is attempting to halt.
Thirty-seven-year old Alireza M was hung for possessing crystal meth in the city of Bojnord last week, and was pronounced dead after 12 minutes. But he wasn't: workers at the morgue discovered that he had survived the ordeal.
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"We found him alive again, which made his two daughters very happy," an unnamed family member said to Iranian state media, according to the BBC.
Unfortunately, Iranian judicial authorities have decided that he will be hung again, writes the Guardian, when he has made a recovery from the first attempt. Convicts must be in good health before they are hung under Iranian law.
Mohammad Erfan said "The sentence issued by the revolutionary court is the death penalty … in such circumstances it should be repeated once again," according to the Guardian.
“The horrific prospect of this man facing a second hanging, after having gone through the whole ordeal already once, merely underlines the cruelty and inhumanity of the death penalty,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme, in a press release.
“The Iranian authorities must immediately halt Alireza M’s execution and issue a moratorium on all others," he added.
The ultimate fate of Alireza M remains uncertain, but Iran is no stranger to execution. According to Amnesty International figures, Iran is one of the top five executioners in the world, joining the ranks of China, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the USA.