Jahangir Razmi’s provocative photograph, Firing Squad in Iran, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980, but Razmi didn’t receive the credit he deserved until 2006. The picture was taken on August 27, 1979, but it was published anonymously in the Iranian daily newspaper Ettela’at. Razmi was the only photographer to receive a Pulitzer Prize anonymously, but he had good reason to keep his name out of the papers alongside his intense photograph.
The picture captures the moment when a group of Kurdish militants were executed at the Sanandaj airport. Eleven prisoners were charged with firearm trafficking, inciting riots, and murder in a 30-minute trial. Their execution was carried out immediately afterward.
Razmi followed the condemned men outside where they were quickly put in place for execution. His picture captured a moment when some in the firing squad had fired and some hadn’t. Razmi’s name was protected by the publisher to ensure the photographer’s safety from government reprisal. In 2006, Razmi finally revealed that he was the photographer in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.[