Hanging survivor spared
Authorities have decided to spare the life of a convicted drug trafficker who survived a hanging, media reports yesterday quoted Minister of Justice Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as saying. The reports follow calls from within Iran and appeals from international rights groups against the man found alive in a morgue facing execution for a second time. The convict, identified only as Alireza M., 37, was pronounced dead earlier this month by the attending doctor after hanging for 12 minutes from a noose suspended from a crane at a jail in the northeast. However, the next day, staff at the mortuary in the city of Bojnourd, where his shrouded body was taken, discovered he was still breathing.
Release reporter: paper
A newspaper published a front-page call yesterday for police to free a journalist detained after reporting “financial problems” at a partly state-owned company, in a rare example of media defying authorities. The New Express tabloid, based in Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, carried the full-page editorial under the headline “Please release our man” in oversized stark black print. Its journalist Chen Yongzhou was held on Friday by police on “suspicion of damaging business reputation” after he wrote 15 articles on “financial problems” at Zoomlion, a giant engineering company. “We are a small newspaper, but we have the backbone no matter how poor we are,” the editorial said, adding it was “ashamed” for not having spoken out earlier due to fears that Chen might be maltreated. Armed police from Changsha carried out the detention in a “cross-province” operation, the editorial said.
Police charged with killings
The prosecutor-general on Tuesday ordered the trial of four police officers charged with killing 39 Muslim Brotherhood members in August after they were picked up in the crackdown that followed the military overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi. The Islamists died after teargas was fired into the back of the police van in which they were being held. The four policemen have been arrested and charged with murder and unintended injury, a security source said. Also on Tuesday, hundreds of students demanding Morsi’s reinstatement protested for a fourth consecutive day at universities in several provinces. Security forces fired teargas at supporters and opponents of Morsi in front of Mansoura University, north of Cairo, a witness said.
Rainsy supporters protest
Thousands of opposition supporters staged a demonstration amid high security yesterday over fiercely disputed elections that extended strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen’s near three-decade rule, following bloody protests last month. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), which is boycotting parliament over the controversial July polls, said it would work with authorities to stop any clashes if there was trouble from “elements” looking to provoke unrest. “It will be completely peaceful... If there is any violence, it would not come from us,” CNRP leader Sam Rainsy said at a press conference, adding that the protest would last for three days. Thousands of riot police were deployed along the streets and at significant locations in Phnom Penh yesterday morning to meet the first major show of strength by the opposition since tens of thousands of its supporters joined three days of rallies in the capital last month. Those demonstrations left one protester dead.