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Iran court sentences protester to death

An October demonstration against the death in police custody of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. [Bulent Kilic | AFP via Getty Images]

An Iranian court sentenced a protester to death for what a Tehran judiciary-linked website said Sunday was connected to "riots" following weeks of demonstrations against Iran's ruling party.

The big picture: It's believed to be the first death penalty issued in response to the protests, which erupted following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was detained for wearing an "improper hijab," Iran's mandatory head covering, per AP.

  • Iranian authorities have charged over 2,000 people since the unrest began last September and hundreds more in three provinces Sunday, DW notes.

Details: The judiciary-linked Mizan website said the person was sentenced to death for "setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, assembly and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security, and an enemy of God and corruption on earth."

  • Another five people were sentenced to prison terms that ranged from five to 10 years for "gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against national security and disturbing public order," according to Mizan.

What they're saying: 16 UN-appointed independent human rights experts issued a joint statement Friday urging Iranian authorities to "stop using the death penalty as a tool to squash protests."

  • They called for the immediate release of all protesters "who have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty for the sole reason of exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of opinion and expression, association and peaceful assembly and for their actions to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms through peaceful means."

  • They noted that eight people in a Tehran province were charged last month with crimes carrying the death penalty, "namely 'waging war against God'" and "corruption on earth."

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday that the U.S. was"deeply concerned about reports from Iran of mass arrests, sham trials, and now a death sentence for protesters voicing legitimate demands against a government that systematically denies basic dignity and freedom to its people."

  • "The eyes of the world are on Iran. The human rights abuses inflicted by its government must not go without consequence," he added.

The bottom line: "With the continuous repression of protests, many more indictments on charges carrying the death penalty and death sentences might soon be issued," said the United Nations experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

  • "[W]e fear that women and girls, who have been at the forefront of protests, and especially women human rights defenders, who have been arrested and jailed for demanding the end of systemic and systematic discriminatory laws, policies and practices might be particularly targeted."


(c) 2022, Axios


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