I have thought, and thought again, about whether I should write about this. Does civilisation still mean anything — when something so abominable can happen in the heart one of the world’s oldest and greatest civilisations?
I have just read in Le Monde, here at Saint-Tropez, that several organisations have demonstrated to protest against the public hanging of two Iranian teenagers, who had been convicted of sodomy and rape, at Mashad in Iran. The second indictable offense may well have been fictitious in order to make the execution possible, as Islamic law, I believe, requires four adult witnesses to prove allegations of sodomy.
This horrific story brought back memories of the international outcry that had saved a pregnant young Nigerian woman from stoning for alleged adultery.
The French demonstrators were asking their government to condemn the hangings; but it is horrible that we only found out about them after they had taken place. I couldn’t help making a parallel between the present régime in Iran and Hitler’s Germany: both ruled highly civilized countries; both did not hesitate to hang teenagers. Barton Schink, publicly hanged by the Nazis in Cologne in 1944, was just sixteen years old.