|Public execution in Iran|
TEHRAN — Born into a poor family in one of Tehran’s most desolate neighborhoods, at age 17 Safar Anghouti had little to look forward to beyond a lifetime in his father’s business — rummaging through trash on the streets of the city for bottles, cans and anything else of value.
But one thing could always be said of Safar Anghouti: he was talented with the knife. His friends said he could unfailingly hit a target at 30 feet. One day seven years ago he lost his temper, and in a flash his knife flew through the air, inflicting a mortal wound in the neck of a rival.
Mr. Anghouti was quickly tried and convicted, and this being Iran, where murder carries the death penalty even for minors, he found himself on death row in one of the country’s largest prisons.
For most Iranian convicts — more than 600 were executed last year — that would have been the end of the story, but not for Mr. Anghouti, who became the beneficiary of two evolving trends in Iranian society, a growing distaste for capital punishment and the spread of social media.
Source: The New York Times, Thomas Erdbrink, March 8, 2014