Iran hangs man convicted of murdering Imam

Mohammad Khorsand, who had been Imam of Friday prayers in Kazeroon since 2007, had been attending a Ramadan ceremony when he was attacked.

By ALEX WINSTON
September 8, 2019 14:23
1 minute read.
Hangman’s noose

Old rope with hangman’s noose (illustrative).. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Iran publicly hanged a man on Wednesday convicted of killing an Imam in the southern city of Kazeroon, the capital of the Fars province, state news agency IRNA reported.

Hamid Reza Derakhshandeh was executed at the same location where he killed the Muslim cleric on May 29.

Mohammad Khorsand, who had been Imam of Friday prayers in Kazeroon since 2007, had been attending a Ramadan ceremony when he was attacked by Derakhshandeh.

After his arrest, Derakhshandeh “confessed to the premeditated crime in the presence of judicial authorities”, Kazem Mousavi, chief justice of Fars province, was quoted as saying by IRNA.

The death sentence was upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court and carried out after Derakhshandeh showed no remorse for his actions. Khorsand's family was given the opportunity to annul the conviction under Iranian law, accepting 'blood money' instead, but refused.

“Due to the sensitivity of the case and the public sentiments in this regard, efforts were made for the case to be investigated promptly,” Mousavi said.

Imams who lead Friday prayers are appointed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran has carried out at least 2000 executions since 2015, according to Amnesty International. Capital punishment is usually reserved for the crimes of murder, rape, espionage or treason, although those found guilty of homosexuality are also often executed publicly. In January a 31-year-old Iranian man was publicly hanged on charges of homosexuality.




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