Momentous victory for pardon

Pardon is a virtue, maybe only second to patience. And many times pardon requires patience. So was it for Balal, whose pardon arrived just a moment before the chair on which he was standing already, with a noose around his neck, would be swung from under his feet. At this very last minute the victim’s mum slapped him, and then forgave him, thus saving his life. Thankfully the slap did not itself swing Balal off that chair. For the picture below says it all.

Death by hanging was his punishment for having killed the woman’s son in a fight, when both were just 17 years of age.


Source: Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA). All photos of the moment of the interrupted execution area available here.

Yesterday’s post about Stanfield’s momentous photo of just after the heart transplant surgery, was to say that photos have a story. This set of photos of Balal’s interrupted execution also have a story – many stories in fact. The story of Balal’s lucky strike for example, the one of the sadness of that victim’s mother, the one of public execution in general and of Iran where it is still practiced, and many others.

What social media has enabled in the last ten years of Facebook, is in fact not just a social network, but many stories which would otherwise have been left untold. Facebook and other social platforms are a fountain of that imagination that fires to pull out a story for a picture you see for the first time. As the details and the motivation are unknown, you make them up.


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