Mahsa Amini: Iran sentences first protester to death

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Iran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced a protester to death and handed down jail terms to five others.

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The ruling likely marks the first death sentence in the trials of those arrested for participating in protests that have swept Iran over the past weeks demanding an end to clerical rule.

Anti-government demonstrations have been going on for weeks in Iran and were sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained after allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

Thousands of peaceful protesters have been arrested since 16 September, including many women, children and youth, lawyers, human rights defenders and activists.

Judicial authorities have announced charges against more than 2,000 people in Iran. Some have been accused of “corruption on earth” and “war against God,” offenses that carry the death penalty.

Eight people were charged on 29 October by the Islamic Revolution Court, in Tehran province. Two days later, the Tehran prosecutor announced that some 1,000 indictments had been issued in connection with recent protests in Tehran province alone and that trials were scheduled in the Islamic Revolutionary Court for cases against a number of individuals. Public trials would take place “in the coming days”, the prosecutor said.

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On 6 November, in blatant violation of the separation of powers, 227 members of Parliament called on the judiciary to act decisively against people arrested during the protests and to carry out punishment carrying the death penalty, experts said.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, the first death sentence was handed down to a protester.

The accused, who has not been named, was sentenced in a Tehran court to death for the crime of “setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, conspiracy to commit a crime against national security, waging war against God and corruption on earth”, one of the most serious offences under Iranian law, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported.

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Another court in Tehran sentenced five others to prison terms of between five and ten years for “gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against national security and disturbing public order”.

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