Cartoon 41: Executions in the Public Eye
Though public executions are nothing new in the Islamic Republic of Iran, two executions carried out over the past week have received a lot of attention due to their time proximity, locations chosen by the Iranian Judiciary for the executions, and the large number of “spectators,” widely invited by the Judiciary to attend the proceedings.
On Wednesday, January 16, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported the public execution inside the Sabzevar Sports Complex of a man charged with rape. The event was attended by hundreds of spectators.
Two other men were executed at Tehran’s Artists Park in the early hours of Sunday, January 20. On December 5, 2012, video of a robbery caught on a surveillance camera on December 1, 2012, was released on YouTube. After wide circulation of the video, four men were arrested and swiftly put on trial, and two of them received the death penalty on charges of moharebeh, “enmity with God,” instead of “theft.” (Read the Campaign’s commentary on the subject) The two men appealed the decision, but their death sentences were upheld with unprecedented speed, and were carried out by the Iranian Judiciary on January 20, 2013.
Approving of the public executions, Mohammad Saeedi, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Social Commission, told ILNA News Agency, “Such executions could be used in order to restore society’s mental security.”