On Wednesday, September 20, Esmail Jafarzadeh was executed in front of a cheering crowd in the town of Parsabad, Iran, according to Newsweek.
Jafarzadeh was found guilty by Iranian authorities for the rape and murder of Atena Aslani, a seven-year-old girl who got separated from her father and went missing on June 19. The body of the young girl was found in the perpetrator’s garage.
The case received nationwide attention and even provoked the country’s president to intervene, calling the crime “horrendous” and calling for justice to be handed down.
According to the public prosecutor in Ardebil, Naser Atabati, the reason the hanging happened in a public square was “to restore citizens’ sense of security and relieve their troubled minds.” The suspect supposedly also confessed to raping and killing another woman two years ago. Her body has not been found.
Iran has one of the highest execution rates in the world according to human rights groups. Amnesty International said that in 2015, Iran executed almost 1000 people, the most in almost 20 years. Although, many of them are due to drug offenses, rape, murder and homosexuality are also punishable by death.