- First execution linked to a demonstration
- Protests sparked by woman’s death
- Britain and Germany condemn the execution
DUBAI, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Iran on Thursday hanged a man convicted of wounding a security guard with a knife and blocking a street in Tehran, the semi-official Tasnim news agency said. , the first such execution after the recent anti-government unrest.
The nationwide protests that erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian, on September 16 pose one of the greatest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.
Authorities cracked down on protests and on Monday, the Revolutionary Guards urged the judiciary to issue swift and decisive judgments against those accused of “crimes against the security of the nation and Islam”.
Tasnim news agency named the executed man as Mohsen Shekari, but gave no further details.
State media released a video of what they said was Shekari’s confession where he appears with a bruise on his right cheek. He admitted hitting a member of the Basij militia with a knife and blocking a road with his motorbike alongside a friend of his.
Rights groups said Shekari was tortured and forced to confess.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said he was “outraged” by the news of the execution. “The world cannot turn a blind eye to the heinous violence committed by the Iranian regime against its own people,” Cleverly said on Twitter.
Germany also condemned the execution.
“The Iranian regime’s contempt for humanity knows no bounds,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. “But the threat of execution will not stifle people’s will for freedom.”
Amnesty International said Iranian authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people in what it calls “sham trials intended to intimidate participants in the popular uprising that rocked Iran”.
“The Iranian authorities must immediately quash all death sentences, refrain from seeking the imposition of the death penalty and drop all charges against those arrested in connection with their peaceful participation in protests,” he said. -he declares.
Iran has blamed the unrest on its foreign enemies, including the United States.
Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said on Tuesday that five people charged with the murder of Basij militia member Ruhollah Ajamian had been sentenced to death in a verdict they can appeal.
Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Thursday that five suspected members of the Islamic State militant group have been charged with “war against God” for their role in the October massacre of Shia pilgrims, a crime punishable by the death penalty. .
Even before the recent unrest, executions had increased in Iran. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, said this year the number would have topped 400 in September for the first time in five years.
Reporting from Dubai Newsroom; Additional reporting by Miranda Murray in Berlin and Sarah Young in London; Editing by Michael Georgy, Crispian Balmer and Angus MacSwan
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