The senior Iranian Shiite Cleric in Qom responded to a question on the necessity of public hangings, saying the practice can be avoided if it causes negative consequences.

Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi was asked if Sharia law required hangings to be public and whether there are any restrictions that prohibit children and minors from seeing such spectacles.

Makarem Shirazi responded: “If the execution of the Sharia law in public causes negative consequences, it can be avoided.”

A number of executions in Iran are carried out in public by the order of the presiding judge. Last week, two rapists were hanged in public in the city of Shiraz.