The Iranian government has sentenced three more protesters to death after accusing them of killing members of the security forces during nationwide demonstrations triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death.
Iran has been bewildered by civil unrest since the September 16 death in custody of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian Amini, following her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran’s dress code for women.
The country’s judiciary announced on Monday that the accused – Saleh Mirhashemi, Majid Kazemi and Saeed Yaghoubi will be executed for waging ‘war against God,’ as per AFP.
AFP said the latest sentences, which can still be appealed, bring to 17 the total number of people condemned to death in connection with nearly four months of protests.
Four executions have been carried out and six of those sentenced to capital punishment have been granted retrials.
Mirhashemi, Kazemi and Yaghoubi were sentenced to death on charges of ‘moharebeh’ under Iran’s Islamic sharia law, the judiciary’s Mizan Online news website reported.
Also, they were all found guilty of belonging to a ‘criminal group with the intention of disrupting the security of the country’, a charge that carries a 10-year jail term.
Two others were handed prison terms for the incident that led to the deaths of the three security force members in the central province of Isfahan on November 16, Mizan said.
One of them is professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani, 26, who received sentences totalling 26 years in prison on three different charges including assisting in ‘moharebeh’.
According to Iranian law, however, he should serve them concurrently, meaning he would be behind bars for 16 years, it said.
Nasr-Azadani’s case and the risk of him being sentenced to death had raised alarm abroad, mainly by FIFPRO, the world union of professional footballers.
All the sentences announced can be appealed before the country’s supreme court, Mizan said.
Videos of the court sessions were published by Mizan, along with CCTV images purportedly showing the crimes being committed, and the confessions of the accused.
On Saturday, Iran executed Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini for killing a paramilitary force member in November, in Karaj west of Tehran.
According to London-based rights group Amnesty International, Iran is second only to China in its use of the death penalty, with at least 314 people executed in 2021.