The ISNA published four photographs of the incident, one of which appears to shows a masked member of the Iranian authorities showing the crowd the bloody aftermath of the 29-year-old’s hand. The man does not appear to show pain in any of the pictures, leading the French outlet France 24 to speculate he may have been drugged.
Immediately following the amputation, a local prosecutor reportedly issued a warning to all would-be criminals: the punishment for such crimes would be getting more severe.
The amputation comes just days after about 300 people reportedly gathered to witness a public execution by hanging in a Tehran park, as reported by The New York Times. The Times said that the public hanging was part of a “heavy-handed offensive by Iranian authorities, who say they are trying to prevent rising crime rates from getting out of hand by setting harsh examples.”