Middle East

Iran minister says 'no need' to hang criminal again

An Iranian gallows (file image) Image copyright AFP
Image caption An Iranian gallows. Iran has one of the highest rates of execution in the world

Iran's justice minister says there is "no need" for a man who survived a hanging to be hanged a second time.

Lawyers want the head of the judiciary to stop a repeat hanging after the man was found alive in a morgue.

Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said executing the man would have repercussions against Iran's image, the ISNA news agency reported.

The government has no direct control over the judiciary which has to decide whether a second execution takes place.

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

The 37-year-old convicted drug smuggler, named as Alireza M, was found alive in a morgue after being hanged at a jail in the north-eastern city of Bojnord last week.

He had been left to hang for 12 minutes after which a doctor declared him dead, reports said.

But when the prisoner's family went to collect his body from the prison morgue the next day, they found he was still breathing.

The man was then moved to a hospital where he was being kept under armed guard.

His condition is not known although the IRNA news agency reported on Monday that he had fallen into a coma.

Last week, Amnesty International urged Iran not to go ahead with a repeat execution.

It also called for a moratorium on all executions in Iran.

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