Iran publicly hangs man for rape, murder of a 7-year-old girl

The execution was shown in an amateur video shared on the state broadcaster’s website

Tehran: Iranian authorities hanged a man in public on Wednesday after he was found guilty of raping and murdering a seven-year-old girl. The case has caused massive outrage in the Islamic Republic.

According to a report published in The Express Tribune, execution of 42-year-old Esmail Jafarzadeh was shown in an amateur video shared on the state broadcaster’s website. He was hanged at dawn in the square of the small northwestern town of Parsabad, in Ardebil province in front of cheering crowds.

The report added that the execution was held in public “to restore citizens’ sense of security and relieve their troubled minds,” Ardebil’s prosecutor Naser Atabati told reporters.

Seven-year-old Atena Aslani went missing on June 19 after walking away from her street vendor father. The disappearance sparked a huge concern on social media.

Prosecutors said that Jafarzadeh, who was already the prime suspect, confessed to her rape and murder shortly after her body was found by police in the garage of his house, the judiciary-linked Mizan Online website reported.

President Hassan Rouhani described the case as ‘horrendous’ and called for swift justice. It took less than a week to convict Jafarzadeh after his trial began in late August. His death sentence was confirmed by the supreme court on September 11, the report continues.

According to The Express Tribune, Parsabad’s public prosecutor Abdollah Tabatabayi later announced that Jafarzadeh had also confessed to the murder two years ago of a woman whose body was never found.

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