The execution of two prisoners sentenced to the death penalty on the accusation of committing “premeditated murder” has been temporarily suspended in Iran’s western Ilam province.

The decision came after the prisoners’ families were given an extra month to pay “blood money” to the victims’ families.

An Iranian court had sentenced two civilians Peyman Maleki and Shahram Dalvand to “retribution in kind” (qisas) on the accusation of “premeditated murder”.

The two prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement on 20 December for the execution of their death sentences.

On late 23 December, they were returned to their cells after their execution was suspended.

Maleki, from Zarrinabad district of Ilam, has been in prison for about six years. Dalvand, who comes from Dehloran in Ilam, has been imprisoned for nine years.