An Iranian court has handed down the first death sentence linked to months of anti-Hijab protests, raising fears of mass executions to quell unrest.
A revolutionary court in Tehran found an unnamed man guilty of “enmity against God”. sentenced the protester to deathwhich drew criticism and concern from human rights groups such as Iran Human Rights NGO (IHRNGO) that this execution would be the first of many.
“Iran Human Rights highlights the Islamic Republic’s history of using the death penalty to foment societal fear and warns of the possibility of hasty executions without warning,” the Norway-based group wrote online. “The organization urges the international community to prevent such crimes through timely action.”
The anti-hijab protester, who was sentenced to death, was also charged with setting fire to a government building and “corruption on earth,” IHRNGO said, citing judicial news site Mizan. At least that’s what the group claimed 20 demonstrators are charged with security allegations that could result in the death penalty.
The regime was known to pursue mass executions as Part of a “death commission” 1988 punishing dissidents and political prisoners.
According to Amnesty International, the commission allegedly resulted in the deaths of around 4,500 to 5,000 men, women and children in prisons across Iran. A former deputy to the ayatollah later claimed that up to 30,000 people died.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is said to have taken part in the commissionwith many former victims identifying him as “in the room” when questioned.
Two months ago, protests erupted across Iran that have followed Death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who allegedly flouted the country’s laws regarding headscarves, called himself a hijab. The morality police arrested her and took her to a hospital an hour later after claiming she “went into a coma.”
But Amini’s family refuted the police report, saying she sustained injuries accompanied by physical beatings. She died in hospital a few days later, and her death sparked protests that have now spread to over 140 cities and towns across Iran.
At least 326 demonstrators died in violent raids by security forces, IHRNGO claimed.
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) put the total number of deaths, according to the BBC, at 341, of which around 15,800 were imprisoned.
The Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Justice Chief Gholam Hossein Ejei issued a statement last week that “rioters” would be treated “firmly and strongly on the basis of law and fairness,” and claimed the protesters had “disrupted people’s security.” , destroyed their livelihood”. and offended their holiness.”