Saturday, October 13, 2012

Iranian inhumane hanging practices

Photo credit (unknow photographer)
By: Jabbar Fazeli, MD

Many are already aware that Iran carries many executions, some of which are done in secret making it difficult to get accurate figures; The regime's preferred method is hanging.

What most are not aware of is that most, if not all, of these executions are performed by amateurs, and don't conform to the most basic of hanging practices.  The favorite method of hanging in Iran is "suspension hanging" which involves slow suffocation; Condemned Iranians are elevated from the ground by a crane, their hands tied behind their backs and a noose around their neck. This method of execution is not used anywhere else in the world, in this case the regime can claim the honor of being the first and only.

In the best case scenario for Iranians about to die by execution, the hangmen use a "short drop hanging" where the condemned is dropped from atop a car as it drives away or an empty crate that gets kicked away, leaving the person dangling. Keep in mind that this method has not been used since the mid-1800s in the rest of the world.

Even in the middle ages and the Wild West, the condemned had the benefit of being dropped from a "standard distance" during hangings in order to ensure that their neck brake promptly to give them a fast and humane death. In the 19th century the "standard drop hanging" evolved into the more scientific "long drop hanging" to make it more humane. The latest method comes with weight charts that dictate the length of the rope being used to allow for individualized drop distance and guarantee the neck to brake.

{Long drop:
The long drop process, also known as the measured drop, was introduced in 1872 by William Marwood as a scientific advancement to the standard drop. Instead of everyone falling the same standard distance, the person's weight was used to determine how much slack would be provided in the rope so that the distance dropped would be enough to ensure that the neck was broken.(}

The Islamic republic of Iran's hangings are done inhumanely and  haphazardly by armatures, with only one objective, to kill the person one way or another as they stand helpless with their hands tied behind their backs.

Assuming that the "enemies of god" (political prisoners), "separatists" (equal rights activists), drug dealers, gays, "confessed killers", etc.  all deserve to die, then the regime should at least give them a clean and humane death using the same standards applied in 1872, or the standards used by the Nazis.

Pulling a person up with a noose around their neck and waiting until they stop kicking is barbaric even by barbarian standards.

There used to be many videos on YouTube showing such hangings in Iran, but they all have been flagged for their brutality and they can't be shown anymore. The only videos left online showing this hanging practice are on militant or separatists websites and so I felt it would be inappropriate to provide such links as it might distract from the point being made here.

This piece is not about asking the regime to stop killing our people, it's simply about asking the Islamic republic to consider using the "long drop", more humane, hanging method to kill us, if it's not too much trouble that is.

For the regime hangmen's convenience here is a link to a US military document from 1947 that comes with a weight chart and rope lengths (skip to page 9) as well as procedures involved in a proper hanging.


Anonymous said...

"Pulling a person up with a noose around their neck and waiting until they stop kicking is barbaric even by barbarian standards."

The notion that one form of killing is "civil" and another is "barbaric" is truly idiotic.

Unknown said...

@anon 11:37
If you're trying to say that all killings and executions of Iranians should stop then I totally agree with you.
But if you are saying that it doesn't matter how what method is used to execute Iranians then we'll agree to disagree. Making sure that executions are humane was a valid concern for the civilized world throughout history.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a snuff website. You're a horrible writer and an imbecile.

Anonymous said...

How about this form of barbarity

Anonymous said...

the difference between having an executioner who insures that the neck breaks and death comes swiftly rather than have a person slowly and horribly strangle should not be too difficult to grasp for adult of close to average intelligence, Anon 11:37..perhaps you've yourself a problem keeping your cranium sufficiently oxygenated.

Anonymous said...

deserve it

Anonymous said...

Actually death penalty is great for murderers. And it does not need to be humane for animals who have commited inhumane acts of murder. Nuff said!

Anonymous said...

The death penalty should be abolished everywhere and replaced by other forms of penalties, such as an reeducation and work to compensate damages...


Muller said...

"This method of execution is not used anywhere else in the world,..."
C'mon. This is used in other Islamic countries as well. When having lived in Kuwait, daily tabloid Arab Times had once even reported how long it took until the condemned Bangladeshis eventually died (10-15 min). Barbaric practices. Showing these pictures (from Google, right) is barbaric, too. I do not consider those forms in Western countries better. All executions are barbaric.
Best, Fahad

B.M.A said...


i have my own suggestion- IRAN SHOULD FORGIVE ALL RAPISTS,DRUG BARONS, DEVIL WORSHIPERS!,TERRORISTS,. and if they wish to punish anybody, they should hand them to the US to be taken to GITMO.there ,they will recieve dignity and a smiling democracy!!.LOL!

Unknown said...

@anon 4:42
Like I wrote, lets assume that they all deserve to die.
Should a socitiety strive to execute the condemed humanely or would that be reflective of how civilized that society is?

Unknown said...

I am very familiar with the gulf states and Kuwait. They don't used cranes to slowly elevate people to hang them.

You are, however, correct when you say that some cases in Arab countries take a very long time to die at times. The reason for that is that the executioners sometimes miscalculate the length of rope needed and the drop is too short to cause the neck to brake. The other times the calculation is correct but the neck doesn't brake as expected for various reasons.

As to showing these photographs, I consider it important to show them to demonstrate the point being discussed, it's not gratuitously.

Unknown said...


What happens in GITMO is the responsibility of the USA and what happens in Iran is the responsibility of IRAN; There can be no equivocation.

Being humane to condemned prisoners shows the level of civility of the Iranian society, and it doesn't require sophisticated western technology, and can be done despite the sanctions.


Dr Fazeli,

Capital punishment is part of Iranian penal code and according to article 156 of the constitution, Iranian Judiciary must comply with Islamic sharia .

meaning capital punishment is legal !
you and I may find it barbaric but the fact that the constitution was adopted by a referendum in 1979 means that our view is that of a minority in the Iranian society.

By the time It was put on referendum I was 6 years old .
my father a secular technocrat boycotted the referendum he takes pride that he has never voted in any election or referendum during his lifetime.

he is proud of his actions and as a result I have to live in a country where many of the laws do not conform to my taste of living .

what should I do ?should I leave the country and reside in US as an Iranian-American ,who is proud of his heritage and blogs here and there of how Barbaric his home country has become?
Or should I stay here in the country and defend my class and my heritage through active participation in educating my people and helping fellow Iranian-Iranians.

your views are very nice poetic even .
but that is all I can say about this blog ,It is very Modern but Unpractical .

where were our intelligentsia diaspora when the future of this country was put on a referendum?

Kind Regards

Anonymous said...

Mr, J. Fazeli 11:38AM

In relation to your comment, I would like to add that the us shouldn't have the rights to mess with the Iranian matters too.


Anonymous said...


This blog can be very practical because others can locate your and mine locations, and sommetimes people can send encrypted messages on the blogs.

Some disgruntled people can reveal system's secrets to the adversary side.
But I wonder, how come were you able to transmit your message from the Islamic Republic and to read this blog?


B.M.A said...


we have read your article very keenly and apart from youremotiona ranting it is a good eye opener.but because you are not against hanging,aand your only only axe to to gring with the regime the mode of hanging, then we shall show you that you are not smart and you are infact inhuman!!.your article begs more questions and difficulties.

QUESTION ONE- are you among the notable advocates fighting for the abolishing of hanging ,or are you okay with practice only that you want it done 'humanly' like CHINA, SAUDI ARABIA,THE USA,ETC?

QUESTION TWO- when does hanging become human, i mean,which is the conventional method of hanging laid down that seems human ,and why do you think your preferred mode of hanging is the best.

QUESTION THREE-why did you fail to make comparisons !,i mean you would have done justice had you slashed pictures of THE CHINESE ,SAUDI, AMERICAN HANGING METHODS.Have you ever heard the story of SAUDI ARABIA? -CHOPPING HEADS OR HANGING SOMEONE WITH A ROPE THEN AIRLIFTING THE COPSE WITH A HELICOPTER ROUND A CITY!.

QUESTION THREE- the regime should stop killing your people!!why did you say this? i mean i did not get your point

FACT - Iranian leaders are not as cruel as you want to portray them on the contrary these hangings have proved a powerful deterrent to terrorists .it is long now that we have heard mosques blown up .

Anonymous said...

Personally I think Leopersica,B.M.A and all those that support barbaric sharia law should all put their money where their mouth is and go and live in Islamic Iran.

Jabber Fazeli MD has done the right thing by showing these terrible pictures and highlighting the realities of the Islamic Theocracy.

Unfortunately the theocracy uses these laws to execute political prisoners and claim they are drug dealers or murderers.

Also their method of execution is used to terrorize the general public by hanging them in city squares,which is barbaric by itself.

If a country has to execute a real criminal then they should be executed behind prison walls and if necessary members of family victim attend.


I live in Iran I'll give you two reasons :
1)I do not think secret agents are trying to hunt me down or are passing secret messages in this blog , that's called paranoia and I'm not inflicted
2)there is a thing called proxy,VPN.
we are the masters of it, facebook is also blocked remember?

@anon 4:08pm
LoL read my post again Iam not defending sharia law !
my money is where my tongue is I'm living in Iran any more questions?

Anonymous said...

The US prefers to use LETHAL INJECTION. Iran prefers the ropes due to "sanctions" - low cost. One rope can be used for many criminals. lol ;)
Different methods, same results..

I hate it when these self righteous hypocrites living comfortably in the West think it's their right to dictate how other countries treat their criminals.

I dare you to commit murder in the US and see how you'll be treated..I promise you won't like it.

Surenas said...

I'm an Iranian and I want to say this:

This whole 'Iranians were always a peaceloving people' is utterly nonsense. No, we didn't invented human rights, as some people want to claim, nor were we more peaceloving than all the other people on this planet.

It's the opposite;

We invented crucifixion and scaphism. Both are among the most cruel methods of execution, and we are responsible for the invention of it. We have a history of such barbaric behavior and it isn't the Islam who taught us that.

It wouldn't be wrong if Iranians had some self-criticism.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:08-------

stupifyingly silly, but I guess that you can't ken that the same rope that slowly strangles could be employed, at no further cost, to quickly kill.

and BTW, a KCl injection is no more costly than a good rope.

Unknown said...

Let me get this straight, so you are an Iranian "actual" dissident in Iran who shares the views with our very own "dissident" from London?!
Ok, I'll bite!

If you read the piece carefully you will see that no where does it say that I am advocating abolishing the death penalty in Iran (God forbid). My views on that can be subject to a different future discussion, and not a tangent discussion here.

I am simply advocating that the people in charge in the Islamic republic consider going about their execution business more humanely and in line with best practices. Is that too much to ask?

Does anyone in the islamic republic see the irony in starteing an execution with the words "بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم"(In the name of God; The Most compassionate, the Most Merciful.) then proceed to use a crane to hang someone slowly? Where is the compassion in that?

Maybe I'm aiming too high, instead of "human rights" in Iran maybe I should advocate for "humane society" standards (applicable to animals in the west) to be applied to Iranians in Iran, as a more attainable goal under the circumstances.

Last but not least, if you are concerned about Iran's "image" (آبرو) in the world then you should help fix what's wrong with Iran (not tryin to hide it) starting by exposing this regime for what it is, a brutal dictatorship.

Unknown said...

@B.M.A 2:03
Most of you questions were already answered in the piece of the subsequent comments.

As far as the Saudi or Chinese practices etc. It simply didn't fall in the scope of the piece. I believe that the best criticism comes from within so I would hope that Saudi and Chinese dissidents are speaking out against their practices as we speak.

I should point out that the Chinese use a bullet to the head as standard practice which does give the condemned a swift death despite the grossness.

The Saudis use beheading with a sword (apparently they have no access to a french revolution era guillotine) which is often resulting in the need for multiple sword strikes o the back of the neck before death comes; I'm sure civilized society would see that as barbaric as iran's crane hangings or worse, but let's get back to you defending the Iranian brutal practices, shall we?!

Anonymous said...

Only criminal minded people get agitated by these pictures.
These open executions of rapists ( only rapists get open ones) are only scary for rapist-minded.

B.M.A said...


I would have wished to hold on to your convictions that you do not oppose the hanging,in fact you are only wishing good for the prisoners facing capital punishment in IRAN.BUT LET ME BE FRANK TO YOU, hanging is inhuman,killing a prisoner by a firing squad is inhuman,shooting his head softly is still inhuman,beside chopping the neck swiftly or taking the prisoner in a room killing him by electric shock with candies in His mouth while watching a movie [AMERICAN STYLE]!! whichever way ,it is still gave suggestions on the mode of hanging,may be you think that is a good method because it practiced somewhere in the 'civilized societies'-believe someday what you see human today will be barbaric in come centuries to come!.As much as you would wish your people not to killed by the regime or given a democratic judgement,im very sorry to candidly tell you that some some men i mean some Humans deserve the cruel send off! and this is why!

FACT ONE-there are Humans in this word who have taken the devil as their guide and protector,people who kill others,or wish others to die to meet their wishes, i mean there are people within us who are devils in human flesh!these people need to face the hangman's noose, All those child rapists,terrorists planting bombs in churches mosques killing women and defenseless children
,all those leaders ordering their Armies to wage merciless wars leaving behind trails of suffering upon people, destroying their lives with a hidden aim of looting their treasures and naturals resources,all those drug barons living opulently in mansions while killing the youth silently in the streets,i mean this small group of powerful or powerless humans who resemble or work in concert with Lucifer [the cursed one],from the rapist to the human organ thief or mass murderer ,all these deserve to hang with a rope somewhere.

FACT TWO-i know my friend Fazzeli you are civilized ,polished and you would even wish thugs given a democratic judgement!.YET I WISH TO ASK YOU -are you even merciful than the creator himself? IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN THE Quran READ THE BIBLE -BOTH BOOKS WILL TEACH YOU THAT THE MERCIFUL GOD OUR CREATOR WILL ONE FINE DAY ,TOSS SOME GUYS JUSTLY IN ETERNAL HELL TO BURN FOR EVER


Anonymous said...

Anon 4:29 AM

You need to visit a psycho-analysis.

Anonymous said...

These public hangings are the same type stuff that the Taliban do + much worse.

Maybe Iran wants to be more like the Taliban....we can't have women going to university can we?

Maybe Iran can shoot little young girls on the school bus, to deter them from going to school, just like in Pakistan!

I thought that Persians were much bigger than this type of behaviour???

Anonymous said...

anon 12:02

At least in Pakistan the people are trying to speakout they are with Malala Yousufzai in Iran the people would be against her

Anonymous said...

Are two of those photos resembling Abdolmalek Rigi or his relative?

Anonymous said...

He is an Iranian hero that shot a mozdor judge dead.

Anon 4:21 AM the only person that deserved it was the criminal judge!

Anon 4:29 AM

The rapists are the regime criminals that are occupying Iran.The only persons deserving of the rope is them.

Anonymous said...

@B.M.A. Only God is a just judge. He ALONE has never committed a sin and is, therefore, qualified to send people off to Hell. The executioners themselves are imperfect, evil and sinful people. None of us is God. None of us has the right to condemn someone to hell. Whenever we point ONE finger at someone, three fingers and one thumb are pointing back at us!

Anonymous said...

i wondered many times myself why the islamic state of iran doesn't start practicing the more humane and quick long drop hanging. i would support it strongly, since i am convinced iran needs power methods to stop the country from falling apart, and to stop foreign and internal sabotage against the society.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

you simple moron clivized humans do not exacute each other

Anonymous said...

excellent reply, well done the guys a idiot

Unknown said...

This slow method should be adopted for all child rapists and brutal murderers in here in the U.S.. At least these victims families get to see true justice carried out instead of having to take the law into their own hands and get imprisoned for it by some silly liberal judge.

Anonymous said...

Slow hanging is fine for serious criminals but not ok for political dissenters and malcontents.