DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Iran announced Thursday that it has executed a prisoner convicted of crimes allegedly committed during ongoing nationwide protests in the country.
The execution of Mohsen Shekari also faces the possibility of the death penalty after other detainees were also involved in protests that began in mid-September as protests against Iran’s morality police. The protests have escalated into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Activists have warned that others could face the death penalty in the near future, saying at least a dozen people have so far been sentenced to death for their involvement in the demonstrations. there is
Mahmoud Amily Moghadam, director of the Oslo-based Iranian human rights group, wrote of the executions, “Without a strong response, we will face daily executions of protesters.” “This execution must have immediate practical consequences internationally.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock condemned Shekhali’s execution in a Twitter post, saying “the Iranian regime’s affront to humanity knows no bounds”.
The Mizan News Agency, which is run by Iran’s judiciary, said Shekhali was convicted in Tehran’s revolutionary court. Courts have been criticized internationally for not allowing those on trial to choose their own lawyers or even see evidence against them.
Shekhali was accused of blocking a street in Tehran and attacking a member of the security forces with a machete who had to have his wounds stitched up, officials said.
The Mizan report also alleges that Shekari said he was offered money by acquaintances to attack security forces.
For months, the Iranian government has tried to claim that foreign countries contributed to the unrest, without providing any evidence. Protesters say they are angry at the collapsing economy, brutal police and the entrenched power of the country’s Muslim cleric.
According to Mizan, Shekhali was arrested on September 25 and convicted on November 20. This charge, which has been levied against others for decades since 1979, carries the death penalty. Mizan said his Shekari’s lawyers’ appeal of the ruling had been dismissed.
After his execution, Iranian state television aired a heavily edited package showing parts of Shekhali’s trial with a tribunal presided over by Judge Aborgasem Salavati.
Salavati faces US sanctions for serving harsh penalties.
“In Salavati alone, more than 100 political prisoners, human rights activists, media workers and others seeking to exercise their freedom of assembly have been sentenced to lengthy prison sentences and several to death,” the US Treasury said. The ministry said it imposed sanctions on him in 2019.
“Judges of these revolutionary courts, including Salavati, acted as both judges and prosecutors, depriving prisoners of access to lawyers and intimidating defendants.”
Iran has been rocked by protests since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on September 16 after being detained by the country’s morality police. At least 475 people have died in demonstrations amid a heavy security crackdown, according to Iranian human rights activists.More than 18,000 people have been detained by authorities.
Iran is one of the world’s leading executioners. Prisoners are usually executed by hanging. Already, Amnesty International has obtained a document signed by Iran’s senior police commander to complete the execution of one prisoner “in the shortest possible time” and carry out his death sentence in public. He said he had obtained a document asking for security force’
Berlin Associated Press writer Frank Jordans contributed to this report.
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