BERLIN (AP) — The first executions of prisoners convicted of crimes allegedly committed during ongoing nationwide protests in Iran were “extremely embarrassing”, the UN’s chief human rights official said on Friday. It said it was Tehran’s attempt to suppress further anti-government demonstrations.
At a press conference in Geneva, Volker Türk said the Iranian government’s decision to carry out the death penalty was “clearly intended to give chills to the rest of the protesters.”
“We will follow up with the authorities on this as well,” he said.
“All I can do is . added.
Mohsen Shekari’s execution has been widely condemned abroad, and other detainees involved in protests that began in mid-September also face the possibility of the death penalty.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday praised Iranian protesters and called on Tehran’s authorities to end their “inhumane” crackdown on its own people.
Steinmeier, who has a largely ceremonial role as Germany’s head of state, cited reports that more than 500 people, including children, had been killed by government forces in recent months.
After a 90-minute meeting with Iranians living in Germany on Friday, Steinmeier paid tribute to Iranian protesters, accusing the Iranian government of causing “terror and terror” to its people.
“I admire your courage,” he said. “We see your suffering. We see crimes committed against you.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock also condemned Iran’s first execution in connection with anti-government protests, saying the death penalty was being used “as an instrument of terrorism”.
At a press conference in Dublin late Thursday, Mr Beerbock said the European Union would respond with “tougher measures” against Iran.
The German Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday that the Iranian ambassador in Berlin had been summoned for talks following Shekhali’s execution.