Public hanging! Iran’s first public execution in more than two years on Saturday! An Iranian NGO said the public executions were a ‘medieval’ phenomenon amid growing repression in the Islamic Republic. Iman Sabzikar was convicted of killing a police officer in the southern city of Shiraz in February 2022, according to the Norwegian NGO Iran Human Rights. He was hanged at the very spot of the crime early in the morning.
The NGO said Iran’s state media had publicly reported on the executions that identified Sabzikar as guilty. The punishment for which was public hanging was announced by the Supreme Court earlier this month. “The purpose of re-introducing this brutal punishment among the public is to intimidate and deter people from protesting,” said Mahmoud Amiri-Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights, or IHR.
“We can protest against the execution of such a medieval practice by protesting more against the death penalty, especially by taking a strong stand internationally against the death penalty in public,” he said. Photos of the execution posted on social media showed a man wearing Iran’s light blue and black striped prison uniform hanging several meters above the ground on a rope attached to a crane. Executions in Iran usually take place inside prisons, and activists say public executions are actually used as a deterrent, especially when crimes involve the killing of members of the security forces.
The IHR said the last public execution was on June 11, 2020. Four other men, who were also sentenced to death for killing police officers at different times, are also currently facing public hanging. Faced with the economic crisis in Iran in recent weeks, people have embarked on mass protests. Prominent film directors and other intellectuals were arrested. The IHR reported that the number of executions in 2022 doubled in the first half of the year compared to 2021.