sgt. 1st class leroy petry

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Some of the most striking photos of 2014

Alireza Mafiha (23) lays his head on an executioner’s shoulder on 20 January, minutes before he and Mohammad Ali Sarvari (20) were hanged. The pair had been convicted of stabbing a man and stealing his bag, with belongings worth around €15. The man survived the attack. Iran is the second-highest executioner in the world. In 2013, the death sentence is believed to have been carried out on some 600 people. Photo taken in Teheran, Iran, 20 January 2014.

An Orthodox Priest during clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in Kiev, Ukraine.

A rhesus macaque cowers in fear as its trainer approaches, while training for a circus act, in Suzhou, eastern China.

Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry stands with his prosthetic hand over his heart, wearing his Medal of Honor during the “Pledge of Allegiance” at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, during a ceremony to honor him and other recipients of the Medal of Honor from Washington state. Petry lost his hand in 2008 when an enemy grenade he was throwing away from fellow soldiers detonated while in combat in Afghanistan.

Protesters use a large slingshot to hurl a Molotov cocktail at police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday Jan. 23, 2014.

Nine-year-old Nowa Paye is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the Ebola infection in the village of Freeman Reserve, about 30 miles north of Monrovia, Liberia,Tuesday Sept. 30, 2014.

A young girl, wounded during clashes near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during anti-government protests.

Children play around a man disguised as Batman at the Favela do Metro slum, near to the Maracana stadium, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 9, 2014.

In Iran, a Mother Pardons Her Son’s Murderer at the Gallows. The mother slapped the convicted murderer, Bilal, during the ceremony, just before she removed the noose with the help of her husband, sparing Bilal’s life. The events followed a rare public campaign to pardon Bilal and accept blood money instead of execution, a provision allowed to victims’ families under Iranian law.

Britain’s Prince Charles wears a traditional Saudi uniform as he attends the traditional Saudi dancing best known as “Arda,” performed during Janadriya culture festival at Der'iya in Riyadh, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.