Scores of protesters in Iran facing potential capital punishment; 11 already sentenced to death

Scores of protesters in Iran facing potential capital punishment; 11 already sentenced to death

Protesters in Iran are facing charges punishable by death. According to a report, 11 protesters have already been sentenced to death. The protests began this September after an Iranian-Kurdish woman died in police custody.

Hundreds of protesters in Iran are facing charges punishable by death, Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) has said. People took to the streets in September this year after the death of Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in custody. She was arrested in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code for women.

According to a report, as many as 100 detainees are facing potential capital punishment, including at least 11 already sentenced to death.

Five of such detainees are women.

The report said many of them had limited access to legal representation.

“By issuing death sentences and executing some of them, (the authorities) want to make people go home,” IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.

“It has some effect … (but) what we’ve observed in general is more anger against the authorities. Their strategy of spreading fear through executions has failed,” he added.

Two men were executed earlier this month, in connection with the ongoing protests.

Activists believe such action is important to instill public fear.

According to the IHR, a total of 476 protesters have been killed since the demonstrations began. The toll was nearly 200, including security officers, in early December.

At least 14,000 people have been arrested since the nationwide unrest began, the UN said in November.

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

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

The US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency noted in a report issued on Monday that Iran had seen an 88 per cent rise in executions in 2022, as compared with 2021 and an 8 per cent rise in death sentences, a vast majority of them for murder or drug offences.

According to Amnesty International, Iran is second only to China in its use of the death penalty, with at least 314 people executed in 2021.

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