Shocked You

Stories That Shocked the World

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Execution by a firing squad in Iran. This photo won the Pulitzer's prize in 1979.

Execution by a firing squad in Iran. This photo won the Pulitzer's prize in 1979.
Execution by a firing squad in Iran. This photo won the Pulitzer's prize in 1979.
In August 1979 (about 8 months after I was evacuated with my family from near Ahwaz) the new Islamic Republic of Iran killed 11 people, mostly Kurds, by firing squad. One photographer and a reporter were there to witness it. Their newspaper, Ettela'at, chose to use one photo but ran no credit in order to protect the photographer. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for spot-news and was the only Pulitzer ever awarded to "anonymous." This month the photographer was officially recognized and given his award.

His name is Jahangir Razmi. He is still a photographer in Iran.

The fascinating story of the event, the photographer, and the life of the photograph can be read in this Wall Street Journal article from last year. It's worth reading for insights into photojournalism in the '70s, Iran just after the revolution, and the way photographs can circulate and be used in unpredictable ways.

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