Iran Frees Murderous Vice Squad
Convictions overturned for hardliners who killed "morally corrupt" citizens
By Olivia Gage,  Newser User
Posted Apr 19, 2007 4:12 PM CDT
Iran   (Getty Images (by Event))
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Iran's Supreme Court has exonerated a group of Islamic hardliners earlier convicted of the vigilante killing of Iranians they considered "morally corrupt,"  the Times reports. Six members of the Basiji force, an elite paramilitary group, were originally convicted of murdering five people, including an engaged couple walking together in public.

The group is protected by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a former member. Islamic Sharia law allows  murder when the killer believes his victim to be immoral, but the case is deeply controversial with the country. "Such laws are not acceptable in our society today," the brother of one of the victims said.