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Iran to spare life of man who survived hanging attempt

A court in Iran sentenced Alireza M, a father of 2, to death after he was caught carrying crystal meth.

Iran public execution nooseEnlarge
A police officer controls the site of a public execution on March 16, 2005, in Pakdasht, Iran. (Getty Images/AFP/Getty Images)

Justice officials in Iran say they won’t execute the man who survived hanging earlier this month.

According to reports coming from the Islamic Republic’s official news agency, the courts will spare the life of Alireza M, who morgue workers discovered breathing again after a 12-minute hanging.

“The convict who survived (the death penalty) will not be executed again,” Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi told IRNA, according to Agence France-Presse.

“After putting much effort to prevent the second execution of this convict, we have received a positive response.”

After the execution attempt earlier this month, morgue workers discovered condensation inside the plastic shroud covering Alireza.

He was taken to hospital, reportedly in a coma.

Courts earlier convicted the man, who was only identified by first name, for drug smuggling. He was reportedly arrested three years ago carrying about two pounds of crystal meth, The Guardian said.

There are conflicting reports on his health.

While some are saying he is awake and able to speak, others suggest the father of two remains in a coma and is clinically brain dead, according to The Guardian.

Iran is one of the world’s most prolific executioners, Amnesty International says.

The organization says Iran has put 508 people to death this year. Amnesty International had called for Iran to spare Alireza’s life.

“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 in the Middle East and North Africa.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately halt Alireza M’s execution and issue a moratorium on all others.”

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/131023/iran-spare-life-man-who-survived-hanging-attempt