Ayatollah Shahroudi, head of Iran’s Judiciary

31 January 2008 :

Iran announced that the powerful head of its judiciary must in future approve any executions to be carried out in public and banned all pictures of the events. The new decree was issued by judicial chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi after a year which saw the number of executions soaring to almost 300 under a government campaign to improve security in society.
"Public executions will be carried out only with his approval and based on social necessities," judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said in a statement.
"Publishing photos or images regarding the executions in the media is prohibited based on this decree," he added. The ruling could reduce the number of public executions in Iran, although their number is not known. Previously, it was the presiding judge in the case who decided whether the convicted criminal would be subject to public execution, while the Iranian supreme court gives the final word on a sentence of capital punishment.

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