Cruel sharing


Published: Monday 30 November -0001

An Iranian soldier prepares for public hanging. Will videos of such executions help deter crime or desensitise viewers?To share or not to share. That’s the question being asked following the emergence of a video of a public hanging in Iran. Those who have shared the disturbing video on social media argue that it sheds light on the cruel methods the Islamic establishment employs to mete out justice. Opponents believe that sharing the video helps promote a culture of violence in Iran fuelled by acts such as public execution.

The video, reportedly shot in late February in the city of Karaj, shows dozens of Iranians assembled to watch the hanging of a man who was sentenced to death for the rape of a pregnant woman. With the help of the digital age, however, what started as a small audience of eyewitness has expanded to tens of thousands of viewers. The chilling video appeared on YouTube and social-networking sites in the first week of March.

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