Iran on Wednesday, September 20, publicly hanged a man who was accused of raping and murdering a 7-year-old girl in an incident that had sparked immense outrage across the entire country. The convict, Esmail Jafarzadeh, was hanged at the square of Parsabad town of Ardebil province, with the state broadcaster website sharing an amateur video of the execution.
The victim had gone missing on June 19 after walking away from her father, a street vendor by profession. According to reports, Jafarzadeh confessed to his crime after the girl’s body was found in the garage of his house. President Hassan Rouhani intervened in the matter and called for swift action. The investigations were completed in less than a week and the trial commenced in August. The Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty for Jafarzedah on September 11, AFP reported.
According to public prosecutor Abdollah Tabatabayi, Jafarzadeh also confessed to having murdered a woman two years ago, whose body has not been found till date. According to Amnesty International, Iran was one of the world’s top 5 executioners in 2016 with most of its death sentences related to offences of drug trafficking. Another report states that the state executed 977 people in 2015, mostly for the same offence. It is also said that the number of executions in Iran exceeded the figures of both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
In June this year, the state had hanged a 21-year-old man after he was convicted of having raped dozens of women. The man had earned notoriety in the Iranian media for greasing his body at dawn before barging into homes of women in Shiraz town and raping them.
He was arrested in 2015 on the basis of CCTV footage, DNA and blood type match. Identified as Amin D, he was sentenced to death for ‘corruption on earth’ and creating insecurity in the town.