Iran executes a second protester, Majidreza Rahnavard, with more expected to follow

A picture of Majidreza Rahnavard who Iran executed this week
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On Monday 12 December, Iranian authorities executed protester Majidreza Rahnavard. It was over the protests that have shaken the regime for months. The state defied an international outcry over its use of capital punishment against those involved in the movement – and just days after it killed Mohsen Shekari for blocking a street and wounding a member of the paramilitary.

Iran: another state execution for protesting

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that an Iranian court sentenced Majidreza Rahnavard to death in the city of Mashhad. The judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency reported that his execution was for what authorities allege was the killing of two members of the security forces with a knife, and the wounding of four other people. This happened during the ongoing protests that have swept Iran for nearly three months. They came after Iranian Kurdish woman Jîna Mahsa Amini died in custody following her arrest by the morality police in Tehran. This was for an alleged breach of the country’s strict hijab dress code for women.

The state executed Rahnavard just over three weeks after authorities arrested him in November, rights groups said. Officials said he was hanged in public in the city, rather than inside prison. Rahnavard’s hanging came only four days after the state executed Shekari. This was the first case of authorities using the death penalty against a protester. Mizan Online published images of Rahnavard’s execution. They showed a man with his hands tied behind his back, hanging from a rope attached to a crane. The execution took place before dawn, and there was no sign that a significant number of people witnessed it.

Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said that images have shown authorities beat Rahnavard in custody, and then forced him into a purported confession – broadcast on state media. Protest monitor social media channel 1500tasvir said his family was informed of the execution only after it was carried out. It published pictures of a last meeting between the condemned man and his mother, saying she had left with no idea he was about to die.

“Coerced confessions”

IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam told AFP that Rahnavard:

was sentenced to death based on coerced confessions after a… show trial. The public execution of a young protester, 23 days after his arrest, is another serious crime committed by the Islamic republic’s leaders.

US-based dissident Masih Alinejad told AFP that :

Read on...

Majidreza Rahnavard’s crime was protesting the murder of Mahsa Amini. The regime’s method of dealing with protests is execution… EU, recall your ambassadors.

There was a similar reaction on social media:

In Iran, video emerged of a woman protesting Rahnavard’s execution:

There were reportedly other protests, too:

More executions to come?

Iran’s use of the death penalty is part of a crackdown that IHR says has seen the security forces kill at least 458 people. According to the UN, at least 14,000 have been arrested. Iran is already the world’s most prolific user of the death penalty after China, according to Amnesty International. Public executions are, however, highly unusual in the Islamic republic, and one in July was described by IHR as the first in two years. Prior to the two recent executions, Iran’s judiciary said it had issued death sentences to 11 people in connection with the protests. However, campaigners say around a dozen others face charges that could also see them receive the death penalty.

Amnesty International warned that the lives of two more young men sentenced to death – Mahan Sedarat and Sahand Nourmohammadzadeh – were at imminent risk. IHR’s Amiry-Moghaddam warned of “a serious risk of mass execution of protesters”, and urged a strong international “response that deters the Islamic republic leaders from more executions”.

Featured image via Channel 4 News – YouTube

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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  • Show Comments
    1. And still you carry on Bitching for Israel USA and the Great White West with baseless accusations by a fake Propagandist IHR!
      Take a step back look at the bigger picture of the Great White West causing this death and devastation. Perhaps there wouldn’t be any paid Terrorists killing security guards and inocent civillians to get the death penalty.
      Why scream and shout look over there when the death sentence is not exclusive to Iran, especially not for murder. They are not some backward shithole with no appropriate identification of suspects! And baseless Fake Org IHR’s Fake claims AGAIN with NO EVIDENCE, that you spout, clearly indicates your “independent” claim is no longer valid!

    2. Why are you supporting these people?
      I saw a video of him stabbing two people, while I don’t believe in the death penalty, he is a murder and you have to respect Iran. Especially as they are being targeted by regime change, colour revolution actors from the USA.

    3. Do you trust AFP and Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) as your sources? Who runs these agencies. We have been lied so many times about events in the Middle East in order to justify US led regime change. We are too often seeing ‘uncorroborated’ reports from western media. How about some balance. I’d expect more from the Canary and am contemplating ending my subscription,

    4. This is a ‘disgusting’ report; someone who stabbed to death 2 people and injured 4 others is not by any stretch of the imagination a peaceful protestor. We can read this US regime change propaganda in the Guardian and Telegraph. When the Canary first appeared it supported Corbyn against the lies of the mass media. You were a breath of fresh air. But with your reporting first on Ukraine and now Iran you have become the same as the rest of the media. I’m not going to continue my subscription if this sort of rubbish continues.

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