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Iranian Hanged for Stabbing Man

January 10, 2001

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Thousands of people braved freezing temperatures in the Iranian capital Wednesday to watch the execution of a man who had killed a member of a hard-line militia.

Moments before 21-year-old Hamid Heidari was hanged, his relatives and friends wept and shouted pleas of ``pardon him!″ But relatives of the victim, Teimoor Hasanzadeh, refused to grant clemency _ something they are empowered to do under Islamic law _ and hundreds of the slain Basij militia member’s friends shouted ``hang him.″

Basij volunteers support Iran’s hard-liners in their power struggle with reformist politicians.

Police and judicial officials brought Heidari to the spot in southern Tehran where he stabbed Hasanzadeh, placed a noose around his neck with the rope tied to a tree. He stood on a chair and Hasanzadeh’s 18-year-old son, Mehdi, stepped forward and kicked the chair from underneath him.

Heidari’s body was left hanging from the tree for 10 minutes before it was taken down by court officials.

Heidari was convicted of fatally stabbing Hasanzadeh on June 28.

Hasanzadeh, the father of five, was trying to save a young boy who was fighting with Heidari and his friends when he was stabbed to death.

The public hanging is the second this week. On Sunday, a man was hanged in Tehran for killing his wife and daughter.

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