In Iran, the judiciary handed down three more death sentences related to protests critical of the system. As the Misan justice portal announced on Monday, the convicts are accused of killing three security agents in the central Iranian city of Isfahan in November. The sentences are still subject to appeal. Austria, Germany, France, Denmark and Norway summoned Iranian ambassadors to foreign ministries.
Prison sentences were also imposed on five other men in the process, including former soccer player Amir Nasr-Asadani. Nasr-Asadani was sentenced to a total of 26 years in prison on three counts. Another man was therefore acquitted.
Previously, several people had protested against the imminent execution of two young demonstrators. Prominent activists and social media users reported that crowds gathered outside a prison near the capital Tehran late on Monday. Relatives also flocked to the notorious Gohardasht prison in Karaj to protest the execution of two convicts Mohammed G. and Mohammed B.
Online media users had previously reported that his execution was imminent. According to a poll by the “New York Times”, Mohammed G. is 19 years old. He was arrested in Karaj. The Iranian judiciary sentenced him to death for allegedly setting fire to a government building and injuring a security officer. Mohammed B. (22) is a hairdresser and was arrested in Tehran shortly after the protests began in late September. He is accused of running over a police officer.
Two executions already on Saturday
Iran had already hanged two youths on Saturday. Mohammed-Mehdi K., 22, and Seyed-Mohammed H., 39, were blamed for the death of a security guard during protests in November. In December, two men were sentenced to death for involvement in demonstrations critical of the system.
Austria, Germany, France, Denmark and Norway summoned Iranian ambassadors in their countries to the foreign ministries. “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the execution of #MohammadMehdiKarami and Seyyed #MohammadHosseini who were arrested in connection with protests in #Iran. The Iranian Ambassador was summoned today. Austria opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and strongly supports its abolition worldwide ” Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) wrote on Twitter.
“The death penalty as a means of repression”
The Iranian regime relies “on the death penalty as a means of repression. It’s terrible,” tweeted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said the Iranian ambassador must make it absolutely clear “that the brutal repression, oppression and terror of the country’s own population, as well as the two most recent executions, will not go unnoticed.” .
The Foreign Ministry in Paris announced on Monday that France had been informed that France strongly condemned the executions and repressions in Iran. The death sentences and executions were compounded by other serious and unacceptable violations of fundamental rights and freedoms by the Iranian authorities. All of this is not a response to the Iranian people’s legitimate aspirations for freedom. “These executions are outrageous,” said Secretary of State Catherine Colonna. France opposes the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances.
Denmark and Norway also recalled Iranian ambassadors to their foreign ministries. The Iranian ambassador was on Monday afternoon for a talk at the Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen, the Danish Foreign Ministry said later. Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said the execution of the two young Iranian protesters was unacceptable. This has now become very clear to the Iranian leadership. The Iranian ambassador was also summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Tuesday in Norway, a non-EU country, as confirmed by the ministry to the newspaper “Verdens Gang”.
Big demonstration on Sunday
Meanwhile, the Washington-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that Sunday’s dissident demonstrations were the largest in more than a month. According to the report, Iranians took to the streets in at least 17 cities to protest on the third anniversary of the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). All 176 occupants died on launch amid military tensions with the United States. In a final report, Iran spoke of “human error” and agreed to pay compensation. To this day, family members are of the opinion that those responsible have not been sufficiently held accountable.
The trigger for nationwide protests in Iran was the death of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022 in police custody. The Iranian Kurd was arrested by the so-called moral police for violating Iran’s Islamic dress code. (dpa)