An Iranian court has issued the first death sentence in connection with months of anti-hijab protests, which sparked fears of mass executions to quell unrest.
A Revolutionary Court in Tehran has found an unnamed defendant guilty of “enmity against God” and sentenced the protester to death. .
“Iran Human Rights underscores the history of the Islamic Republic’s use of the death penalty to instill societal fear and warns of the possibility of hasty executions without any advance warning,” the Norway-based group wrote online. “The organization calls on the international community to prevent such crimes in a timely manner.”
The anti-hijab protester sentenced to death was also charged with arson of a government building and “corruption on earth,” IHRNGO said, citing the judiciary’s news site Mizan. The group also claimed that at least 20 protesters face security-related charges that could carry the death penalty.
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The regime carried out mass executions in 1988 as part of a “death commission”, which punished dissidents and political prisoners.
The commission is said to have led to the deaths of about 4,500 to 5,000 men, women and children in prisons across Iran, according to Amnesty International. A former ayatollah deputy later claimed that as many as 30,000 may have been killed.
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reportedly participated in the commission, with many former victims identifying him as “in the room” when questioned.
Two months ago, protests erupted across Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who allegedly broke the country’s laws regarding headscarves called a hijab. The morality police arrested her and rushed her to a hospital an hour later after claiming she had “slipped into a coma.”
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But Amini’s family refuted the police report, saying she suffered injuries consistent with physical assault. She died in hospital a few days later, and her death sparked protests that have now spread to more than 140 cities and towns across Iran.
At least 326 protesters have been killed in violent crackdown by security forces, IHRNGO claimed.
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) puts the total at nearly 341 deaths, with about 15,800 arrests, according to the BBC.
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The Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Gholam Hossein Ejei, head of the judiciary, issued a statement last week that “rioters” would be dealt with “firmly and strongly on the basis of law and fairness”, claiming that the protesters were “the disrupted people’s safety, disrupted their livelihoods”. and offended their holiness.”