After summoning the Iranian ambassador on Wednesday, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tagjani said Iran must stop executing and persecuting protesters and should start a dialogue with them.
Tajani said the death sentence for demonstrators and women who refused to wear headscarves was a highly disproportionate and unacceptable punishment.
“Removing the veil or participating in protests is not a crime punishable by death anywhere in the world,” he said.
Iran erupted in nationwide uproar three months ago after the death in custody of a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, Martha Amini. She was arrested by the morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code.
The protests represent one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s leadership since the 1979 revolution, drawing Iranians from all walks of life.
Iranian authorities are cracking down on what they say are riots instigated by foreign opponents.
Iran hanged two protesters earlier this month. Mohsenshekhali, 23, was accused of blocking a highway in September and wounding a member of the paramilitary Basij army with a knife. Two of his members of the Basij, he was publicly hanged from a construction crane.
Human rights group HRANA said about 18,500 people were arrested during the riots. Government officials say most have been released.
HRANA also said that as of December 25, 507 protesters had been killed, including 69 minors and 66 security force personnel.
Meanwhile, the UK has urged Iran to end its detention of dual nationals following the arrest of seven people with ties to the UK, saying the practice will be used to gain “diplomatic clout”. said it should not be used for