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Iran executes man in public for murdering Friday prayers’ mullah

Hamid Reza Derakhshandeh, 47, was executed at the same place where he killed cleric Mohammad Khorsand on May 29, reported IRNA, who cited the chief justice of Fars province, Kazem Mousavi.

Khorsand, who served as the leader of Friday prayers in Kazeroun from 2007, suffered fatal injuries when he was attacked with a “cold weapon” while returning from a religious ceremony at 3:30 in the morning during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting

Mousavi said that after Derakhshandeh’s arrest, he stood trial on July 3 in a court in Shiraz, and “confessed to the premeditated crime in the presence of judicial authorities”. The guilty verdict was issued by the judge just minutes after a single court session.

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

Fars news agency reported that the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, which was carried out after the cleric’s family decided not to spare Derakhshandeh’s life because he refused to express regret. (A murder victim’s family can spare a convict’s life under Iranian law by accepting blood money.)

Derakhshande, who never had a criminal record, said he had punished Khorsand for stealing from poor people. He said he had sacrificed his life for “those who had no bread to eat” and “those who [could] not afford to pay back their loans”.

This is not surprising, given that corruption and embezzlement are rampant in the clerical regime and a lack of justice has frustrated the 80% of Iranians suffering under the poverty line, many of them unable to even feed their children. The Friday prayers leaders in Iran are appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds all power in Iran and, by all accounts, is the biggest crook in the Regime controlling  $95 billion worth of assets.

This is not the first time that frustrated Iranians have taken the law into their own hands, knowing that the judiciary will not even charge Iranian officials without Khamenei’s consent. In 2007, Majid Kavousifar was hanged in public for avenging a notorious judge in Tehran. Moments before his death, he waved to the crowds and told them he would “die a man”.

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