An ‘unknown suspect’ was sentenced to death for “setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, harming national security and being an enemy of ‘God’ and causing corruption on earth”.
After the arrest and death of Mehsa Amini, a Kurdish woman in Iran, at the hands of moral police and her death in custody, protests have been going on across the country for the past two months. These protests have shaken Iran’s religious leadership. So far, thousands of protesters have been arrested, while 326 people have been killed.
Iran formally sentenced a man to death on Sunday for the “crime” of joining the protests, in the first unusual step against the protests. Human rights groups said it was “hasty”. A decision has been taken and a number of people have been charged with charges that could carry the death penalty.
Why was the death penalty given?
According to the Iranian Judiciary website Meezan Online, an “unknown suspect” was charged with setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, harming national security, unlawful assembly, being an enemy of “God” and corruption on earth. Under Iranian law, he was sentenced to death on Sunday for causing the spread.
Other courts in Tehran have sentenced thousands of people to between five and 10 years in prison on charges of “illegal assembly and conspiring against national security and disturbing public order”.
Earlier this month, 272 of Iran’s 290 members of parliament called for the death penalty for those who harm people’s lives and property, following the principle of ‘an eye for an eye’.
Mahmoud Amiri Moghadam, director of the Norwegian-based human rights organization Iran Human Rights, says that according to official reports, at least 20 people are facing charges that could result in the death penalty.
“We are deeply concerned that death sentences can be handed down in a hurry,” he told AFP news agency. He said that the international community should give a stern warning to the Iranian rulers that the death penalty against the protesters will not be acceptable and they may have to pay a heavy price for it.
Case filed against more than 2000 people
Iran’s judiciary has indicted more than 750 people in three provinces for their involvement in the “recent riots” during nationwide protests following the death of Mehsa Amini, according to the Iranian judiciary website Meezan Online.
More than 2,000 people have already been charged since the protests began in mid-September, nearly half of them from the capital Tehran, according to Iranian judicial statistics. Iranian authorities call these protests ‘riots’.
According to the official news agency IRNA, the head of the judiciary of the ‘Central’ province, Abdul Mahdi Mousavi, has indicted another 276 people in the province. However, 100 youths have been released after signing pledges not to participate in any future ‘riots’.
Judiciary chief of the southern province of Hormuzgan, Mujtaba Karimani, said that 164 people had been indicted “after the recent riots”. Human rights organizations say more than 15,000 people have been arrested since the protests began in September. Tehran has accused some Western countries of fueling the insurgency.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron met four key Iranian leaders against Iran on Sunday. He praised women for leading the protests.
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