Iran has been on a killing spree of late. According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) and Amnesty International have reported Iranian has executed some 40 people, including 19 in one day. Having executed 529 people in 2013, Iran seems on course to another banner year of Sharia excess.
The spasm of hangings undermines the image of President Hassan Rouhani as the “moderate” reformer.
Twenty-one of the executions have been acknowledged by the government while Amnesty has accounted for 19 more.
The Iranians use a particularly brutal form of hanging but tying a rope around the neck of the subject and then pulling him up into the air with a crane. It avoids snapping the neck of the person, which is the purpose of trapdoor hangings.
Iranian officials have long viewed hangings as a way of cleansing the country of those who violate core Islamic values. For example, a few years ago, the head of an Iranian delegation, Mr Yahyavi, shocked Western leaders at a conference when he responded to objections to the hanging of two teenagers believed to be homosexuals by declaring that homosexuals and lesbians should tortured and killed . . . all in the name of morality.