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Downtown Tehran Alamy Stock Photo
Saman Seydi

Iran court orders retrial of rapper protester reportedly on death row

Iran has arrested thousands of people over protests following the death of Mahsa Amini.

IRAN’S SUPREME COURT ordered the retrial of a Kurdish rapper who was reportedly sentenced to death over protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death, according to the judiciary.

The judiciary’s Mizan Online website said today that the Kurdish rapper Saman Seydi — also known as Saman Yasin — and another protester, Mohammad Ghobadlou, would be retried.

Hours later, however, Mizan issued a new statement from the supreme court that said Ghobadlou’s appeal had been rejected and confirmed his sentence. It did not elaborate.

Protests have gripped Iran since the death of the 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin on 16 September after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic’s dress code for women.

Iran this month executed two people in connection with the protests. It has sentenced another 11 people to death. One of them, Mahan Sadrat, secured a retrial earlier this week. 

Rights groups outside Iran have said Seydi and Ghobadlou had been facing the death penalty based on accusations of involvement in the protests.

Mizan did not specify the verdicts, but confirmed both were charged with offences punishable by death.

Ghobadlou was charged in Tehran with “corruption on earth” for “attacking police with a car, which resulted in the death of one officer and the injury of five others”.

Seydi was accused of “moharebeh”, which means “enmity against God”. Rights groups said the rapper had been accused of firing a pistol into the air three times during the demonstrations.

Today’s developments come three days after Mizan said the supreme court had ordered the retrial of Sadrat, who had been sentenced to death after being convicted of capital offences during the protests.

Iran has arrested thousands of people over the unrest in which the authorities say more than 200 people have been killed, including dozens of security personnel.

Foreign-based rights groups say the security forces have killed more than 450 people in a crackdown on the movement.

The country has already executed two young men over the protests.

Majidreza Rahnavard, 23, was hanged in public on 12 December after being sentenced to death by a court in second city Mashhad for killing two members of the security forces with a knife.

Four days earlier, Mohsen Shekari, also 23, was executed for wounding a member of the security forces.

Campaigners say a dozen other defendants are charged with offences that could also see them receive the death penalty.

© AFP 2022

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