Iran carries out second execution linked to nationwide protests

By | December 12, 2022

The Guardian reports:

Iran has publicly hanged a man accused of killing two members of the security forces in its second use of capital punishment against anti-government protesters.

Majidreza Rahnavard’s family were woken early on Monday morning to be informed that he had been executed and that his body had been buried in a lot in the local cemetery.

Rahnavard, a 23-year-old wrestler, had been sentenced to death by a court in the city of Mashhad for allegedly killing two members of the Basij volunteer force and wounding four others. The Basij force, affiliated with the country’s Revolutionary Guards, has been at the forefront of the state crackdown on protests.

The judiciary’s Mizan news agency reported that he was arrested on 19 November while trying to flee the country. Mizan published a collage of images of Rahnavard hanging from a crane, his hands and feet bound, a black bag over his head. Masked security force members stood guard in front of concrete and metal barriers that held back a gathered crowd early on Monday morning.

His execution underscores the speed at which Iran now carries out death sentences handed down for those detained in the demonstrations.

Iranian media has printed the names of 25 other people who faced the death sentence in relation to the protests, which were sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian woman arrested by the morality police for allegedly breaching the country’s strict dress code for women. The protests, described by authorities as “riots”, represent the biggest challenge to the regime since the shah’s ouster in 1979.

On Thursday, Iran hanged Mohsen Shekari, who had been convicted of injuring a security guard with a knife and blocking a street in Tehran, the first such execution after thousands of arrests over the unrest, drawing western condemnation. During his trial, Shekari showed signs of torture visible on his face, his uncle Mahmoud Shekari told the Guardian.

EU and western powers are imposing sanctions on those responsible for the wave of repression but in reality travel bans and asset freezes have little practical impact since those who have faced sanctions are unlikely to travel to the west or own assets outside Iran. [Continue reading…]

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