Iran announces first execution of protester
The Iranian judiciary is serious about its iron policy against supporters of the protests. Other detainees are also threatened with a death sentence.
According to state media, a demonstrator has been executed in Iran for the first time since the mass protests began almost three months ago. The man was arrested in Tehran at the end of September, the Irna news agency reported on Thursday. A revolutionary court in the capital, Tehran, sentenced him to death for “waging war against God,” according to Islamic law. He was charged with attacking a member of the notorious paramilitary Basij militia with a weapon, causing terror and blocking a road. An appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
There was initially no information about the age of the man killed and the type of execution. The death penalty in Iran is usually carried out by hanging. Rallies against the leadership of the Islamic Republic are still ongoing. Since the beginning of the week, many shopkeepers, especially in the Iranian Kurdish province, have closed their shops in protest. A massive deployment of security forces was present in large parts of the country to prevent gatherings and protests.
According to the Iranian media, the man who was executed was called Mohsen Shekari. Experts were surprised by the speed of the sentencing, human rights activists criticized the procedure as a “sham trial”. According to the news portal Misan, which is close to the judiciary, Schekari was arrested on September 25 and the death sentence was read out on November 20.
Human rights activists: At least 470 protesters killed
Several death sentences have been imposed on demonstrators in recent weeks. The judiciary has announced a tough course in the face of the protests. In parliament, too, members of parliament called for harsh sentences, up to the death penalty, for the thousands of detained protesters. Human rights activists estimate that at least 470 demonstrators have been killed and more than 18,000 arrested since mid-September.
The prominent Iranian blogger and human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi, who was recently released from prison, wrote to the political leadership on Twitter: “We will not turn a blind eye to the executions, the execution of any protester will have serious consequences for you .” Taking one person’s life is “like taking the life of all of us. Can you set up the gallows for all of us?”
Human rights activists criticize the fact that the number of death sentences carried out in Iran has increased significantly since the arch-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi took office last summer. According to Amnesty International, at least 250 people were executed in the first six months of this year alone, mainly for drug-related offences.
The trigger for the nationwide protests was the death of the Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini. She died in police custody on September 16 after being arrested by the Morality Police for breaking the Islamic dress code.