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Iran executes three over anti-government protests


May 19, 2023
Iran executes three over anti-government protests


TEHRAN — Authorities in Iran have executed three men sentenced to death in connection with the nationwide anti-government protests last year, the judiciary says.

The three were convicted over their alleged involvement in a shooting attack that killed three security personnel in Isfahan in November.

Four other protesters have been hanged since December.

Dozens more have reportedly been sentenced to death or charged with capital offences.

The protests swept across the Islamic Republic following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was detained by morality police in Tehran in September for allegedly wearing her hijab “improperly”.

The three who were executed on Friday — Majid Kazemi, 30, Saleh Mirhashemi, 36, and Saeed Yaqoubi, 37 — were arrested after protests in the central city of Isfahan on 16 November, during which two Basij paramilitary force members and a police officer were shot dead.

Sources told Amnesty International that the men were forcibly disappeared, then tortured and forced to make incriminating statements that formed the basis of the criminal cases against them.

Interrogators allegedly suspended Kazemi upside down, showed him a video of them torturing his brother, subjected him to mock executions and threatened to kill his brothers.

A Revolutionary Court convicted Kazemi and the other two men of “enmity against God”, and sentenced them to death in January following what activists said was a four-day trial.

According to the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), they were denied the ability to prepare a proper defense, prosecutors relied on forced “confessions” and the indictment was “riddled with irregularities that reveal this was a politically motivated case”. “.

Last week, authorities announced that the Supreme Court had upheld their sentences.

“The use of the death penalty against these men is a blatant act of vengeance against a courageous generation of protesters for steadfastly demanding the rights of Iranian people during the past seven months,” Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty’s Middle East deputy director, said in a statement. on wednesday.

UN human rights chief Volker Türk last week expressed dismay at what he called the “frighteningly high number of executions” in Iran this year.

He cited the UN’s sources as saying that at least 209 people had been put to death so far this year — more than 10 people each week — mostly for drug-related offenses, calling it “an abominable record”. BBC


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