Iran Executes Muggers Who Took Man's Coat

Video of crime was posted to YouTube
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2013 12:19 PM CST
Alireza Mafiha, second left, leans his head on the shoulder of a security officer moments before his execution along with Mohammad Ali Sarvari, second right, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/ISNA, Amir Pourmand)
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(Newser) – After pledging to get tough on growing street crime, Iran has publicly hanged two muggers who took a man's coat, bag, and cash in November, in a crime that was videotaped and posted to YouTube. The convicts were hanged by crane, whose operators lifted the men from the ground as some 100 people watched in a wealthy residential area of Tehran, the Los Angeles Times reports. The men, ages 20 and 23, were convicted of moharebeh, or war against God, after video showed them jumping off motorbikes and attacking the man at knifepoint.

The video, which suggests the man wasn't hurt, appeared on YouTube a week after the crime. Arrests were quickly reported, and it took about a month for the men to run out of appeal options. After they were brought to the hanging site in handcuffs and shackles, one of the convicts put his head on a police officer's shoulder, the Times notes. The crowd offered mixed reactions, with some calling the punishment excessive and others approving. The Times gloomily adds that "such public displays of remorseless justice" may be achieving little: Its correspondent had his iPad stolen while covering the event. (Read more Iran stories.)

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