May 26, 2011
Qazvin, Iran
Mehdi Farahj is publicly hanged with other criminals

Farahj was convicted of raping and killing 5 middle-aged women in his minibus. Seven others joined Farahj the same day were convicted of murder, rape, drug trafficking, and armed robbery.

Public executions are still practiced in Iran, with the purpose of being a deterrent. To make the spectacle even grander, the condemned are often raised from a platform by a crane to slowly strangle the prisoner. Other times, a chair is placed under the feet and abruptly removed.

One early report claimed the chair removed under Farahj was drawn by an underaged relative of one of his victims. However, this was quickly clarified and proven with photographic evidence that the man who pulled the chair from beneath Farahj was a 23-year-old man, a son of one of the murder victims. Despite the age of the man instrumental in the execution, some groups have reacted negatively to Iranian retribution laws which involve citizens in the execution process.

Photos by Ebrahim Noroozi

A full collection of Noroozi’s 12-part documentation of the execution can be seen at World Press Photo.

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