You may have seen this photo of a young Iranian convicted of a violent but non-fatal mugging crying on the shoulder of one of his executioners before being publicly hanged in Tehran.
Thomas Erdbrink of The New York Times was there and reports:
The two men, both unemployed and from poor families, had been caught two months ago on a security camera robbing a man and stabbing him, helped by two accomplices. Video from the crime spread on the Internet and caused a widespread uproar, prompting politicians and clerics to call for harsh measures.
Two weeks later, all four men were arrested. The head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, made it clear in comments on the crime that even though their victim had not died, a death sentence for the two main defendants, Mr. Mafiha and Mr. Sarvari, was likely. “We need to act assertively and increase the costs for those committing street crimes,” he said, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.
On Sunday, as the sun slowly started rising in the east of Tehran, the executioners led Mr. Mafiha and Mr. Sarvari to the cranes. Three young women in the crowd begged for forgiveness, but a representative of Iran’s judiciary described the crime and read out the verdict.
Mr. Mafiha, in tears, laid his head on the shoulder of one of the executioners, who placed his arm around him. After the nooses were placed around their necks, both men were pulled up by the two cranes. They died silently as many in the crowd shouted in protest, while others used smartphone cameras to record the scene.
“This is not fair,” said one young man, crying loudly while being dragged away by another friend. “If they hadn’t been caught on camera this would have never happened to them.”
The leaders of the brutal and murderous Iranian regime should only hope that when their time comes, they will be treated more mercifully.