A 42-year-old rapist and murderer was hanged in public before a cheering crowd this week after he was found guilty by an Iranian court.
Esmail Jafarzadeh allegedly confessed to the brutal murder and rape of Atena Aslani, who detectives found on June 19 in the garage of his house.
Iranian social media buzzed for weeks about the rape and murder of the young girl, 7.
The crime caused widespread anger throughout Iran.
The public hanging, according to authorities and reported by the AFP news agency, was done to “restore citizens’ sense of security and relieve their troubled minds.”
The public hanging took place in Parsabad, Ardebil Province — located in Northwestern Iran.
Ironically, Ardebil means holy town.
It is an ancient city in Azerbaijan with a population of 560,000 who are mostly ethnic Iranian Azerbaijanis.
According to reports, a large crowd witnessed the hanging.
The public prosecutor in Parsabad said the suspect confessed to killing another woman two years ago and whose body has never been found.
The case became so high-profile in the country that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani even intervened, calling it “horrendous” and demanded that justice be handed to the perpetrator. Tried in late August, Jafarzadeh was quickly convicted by the Supreme Court on September 11.
In 2015, Iran allegedly conducted 1,000 executions according to the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.
Many of those executed are done so for drug-related offenses, but other crimes such as murder and rape are punishable by death. Iran has also executed people for homosexuality.