Iran issues first known death sentence for anti-government protester

Iran issued its first known death sentence in connection with the mass protests that swept the country in response to the death of a 22-year-old woman while in police custody in September.

Mizan Online, a website of the Iranian Revolutionary Court, reported on Sunday that it had issued a death sentence linked to “riots”.

The newspaper said that the verdict was issued on charges of “setting a government building on fire, disturbing public order, assembly and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security, the enemy of God, and corruption on earth.”

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

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This ruling is likely to represent the first death sentence in the trials of detainees for their participation in the protests that swept Iran during the past weeks, calling for an end to the rule of clerics.

The Revolutionary Court was established in the aftermath of the Islamic revolutions of 1979 and is known for imposing harsh penalties on those who oppose Iran’s clerical rulers.

Iran has already issued indictments to hundreds of detained protesters, saying it will hold public trials for them.

Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was taken into custody by morality police, in Tehran, September 20, 2022, in this photo taken by a non-Associated Press person obtained by the Associated Press outside Iran.
(AP Photo/Middle East Images, File)

The anti-government demonstrations have entered their eighth week and erupted after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested after allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code.

Judicial authorities have announced charges against hundreds of people in other Iranian provinces. Some have been accused of “corruption on earth” and “war against God,” crimes punishable by death.

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Security forces, including paramilitary volunteers with the Revolutionary Guards, violently suppressed the protesters, killing more than 300 people, including dozens of children, according to the Oslo-based Iranian human rights organization. Iranian authorities say more than 40 security forces have also been killed in the unrest that erupted across the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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