We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Alamy Stock Photo

Iran carries out first known execution over Mahsa Amini protests

Demonstrations have swept Iran for nearly three months since Amini died after her arrest by the morality police.

IRAN HAS CARRIED out its first known execution over protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death, hanging a man convicted of blocking a street and wounding a paramilitary member in what human rights activists condemned as “show trials”.

Demonstrations have swept Iran for nearly three months since Amini died after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s strict hijab dress code for women.

“Mohsen Shekari, a rioter who blocked Sattar Khan Street in Tehran on 25 September and wounded one of the security guards with a machete, was executed this morning,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said.

The ruling was condemned by human rights activists based abroad.

The “execution of Mohsen Shekari must be met with strong reactions otherwise we will be facing daily executions of protesters,” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR).

He said Shekari had been “sentenced to death in show trials without any due process”.

“This execution must have rapid practical consequences internationally,” he tweeted.

The revolutionary court in Tehran heard Shekari had been arrested after striking the member of the Basij paramilitary force in the shoulder with the blade, an injury that required 13 stitches, Mizan Online said.

The judiciary said Shekari was found guilty of fighting and drawing a weapon “with the intention of killing, causing terror and disturbing the order and security of society”.

It convicted him of “moharebeh” – or waging “war against God” under Iran’s Islamic sharia law – on 1 November, said Mizan, adding that he appealed the ruling but the supreme court upheld it on 20 November.

Hundreds killed in crackdown

Since the 16 September death in custody of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, women, university students and schoolgirls have led the demonstrations.

Their largely peaceful protest actions have included removing and burning their headscarves in the streets, chanting anti-government slogans and confronting the security forces.

Iran, which has struggled to contain the protests, describes them as “riots” fomented by its arch foe the United States and its allies, including Britain and Israel.

Its security forces have responded with a crackdown that has killed at least 458 people, including 63 children, according to an updated death toll issued by IHR yesterday.

The crackdown, which has drawn widespread international criticism, has seen thousands of people arrested, including academics, journalists and lawyers.

The United Nations Human Rights Council on 24 November voted to create a high-level investigation into the crackdown.

The Basij is a state-sanctioned volunteer force that is linked to Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

An Iranian court on Tuesday sentenced five people to death by hanging for killing a Basij member, a ruling condemned by human rights activists as a means to “spread fear” and to stop the protests.

The judgement brought to 11 the number of people in Iran sentenced to death in connection with the protests, in what Amnesty International has branded “sham trials”.

Prior to the latest execution, the London-based rights group said at least 28 people, including three children, could face the death penalty in connection with the nationwide protests.

It accused the Iranian authorities of using “the death penalty as a tool of political repression to instil fear among the public and end the popular uprising”, in a statement issued on 2 December.

– © AFP 2022

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel