A sobbing 17-year-old* Alireza Molla-Soltani was publicly hanged at dawn on this date in 2011 in Karaj for slaying an Iranian muscleman.
Yoked: the murder victim, Rouhollah Dadashi.
A powerlifter and bodybuilder who was two-time (2009 and 2010) champion of Iran’s “Strongest Man” competition, Rouhollah Dadashi was stabbed to death during a traffic-related altercation barely two months prior: three youths fled the scene in their ride but were picked up within days, even as thousands thronged the celebrity athlete’s burial.
His murder raised a public outcry. Vainly, Molla-Soltani pleaded that he had knifed Dadashi in fear of his own life. He reportedly broke down crying and begging for mercy under the noose.
Warning: Mature Content. This is not film, but a compilation of the numerous still photographs searchable online of the execution.
* Iranian officials contended that Molla-Soltani had reached maturity with 18 lunar years. A lunar year is 11 days shorter than a solar year.
Indonesian migrant worker Ruyati binti Sapubi was beheaded in Mecca on this date in 2011 for the meat cleaver murder of her mistress. She numbered among the several hundred thousand Indonesian women hired as domestic servants in the Gulf kingdom.
“The maid carried out the killing after she was denied permission to leave the kingdom and return to her family in Indonesia, according to officials in Jakarta,” according to press reports on the very sketchy details allowed by Riyadh.
The mild and passive voice here conveys a wild overreaction by the help, but a moment’s consideration of the scenario — a terribly vulnerable imported domestic worker disallowed from leaving her job — puts matters into a different light. (To add diplomatic insult to injury, the Saudis failed to inform Indonesia when the actual execution was imminent.)
The Indonesian government slapped an immediate moratorium on overseas work in Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of this horror. Unfortunately, these and similar measures in the 2010s have only compounded the risk of trafficking, increasing the vulnerability of people desperate to secure work abroad.