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Iran Minister: Man Who Survived Hanging Shouldn't Be Executed

Iran's justice minister says a convicted drug smuggler who survived an attempted execution by hanging earlier this month shouldn't go back to the gallows.

As we reported last week, the 37-year-old man, identified as Alireza M, was found alive in the morgue by his family following a 12-minute hanging. After the incident, an Iranian judge reportedly said Alireza would hang again once he had recovered from the botched execution.

Now, Iran's ISNA news agency quotes Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi as saying that going ahead with a second execution attempt would have "[negative] repercussions for Iran's image," according to the BBC.

However, as the BBC notes, "The government has no direct control over the judiciary which has to decide whether a second execution takes place."

Amnesty International has condemned the "horrific prospect" of a second execution attempt for the man.

"After having gone through the whole ordeal already once, merely underlines the cruelty and inhumanity of the death penalty," Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Program director Philip Luther said last week.

Iran has one of the highest rates of execution in the world.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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