Iran on Saturday hanged two men, a 22-year-old national karate champion and a 39-year-old poultry worker, who had participated in anti-government protests and the executions of They were denounced by the government as a plot to use violence and sow fear to crush the protests.
The men, Mohammad Mehdi Karami, a karate champion, and SEYed Mohammad Hosseini, a factory worker, were hanged at dawn on Saturday morning in the city of Karaj near the capital Tehran, following hasty trials with allegations force them to participate in the murder of a woman. member of the paramilitary group Basij in November, according to the judiciary.
Iran has deployed heavy-handed violence against protesters since mid-September, when the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of ethics police, sparked a nationwide uprising. to demand an end to theocracy in Iran. Human rights groups say at least 500 people have been killed by security forces, including 50 children, and the United Nations says at least 14,000 people have been arrested.
According to Amnesty International, at least 13 of the detained protesters were sentenced to death, among them a doctor, a bodybuilding champion, a rapper and a barber. with charges ranging from burning trash cans to allegedly killing security forces. Two men were executed in December, one of them publicly hanged from a crane with a sack over his head.
According to Amnesty International, the trial of Mr Karami and Mr Hosseini, held at Iran’s Revolutionary Court, lasted less than a week and was based on forced confessions and shoddy evidence.
According to Mr. Karami’s family and rights groups, the men were denied lawyers of their choice and were represented by government-appointed attorneys. Both men have denied the charges against them.
Protests in Iran
Since September, Iran has been embroiled in protests over the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, while she was in police custody.
The execution shocked Iranians who were campaigning and opposing the execution of the protesters and was widely condemned by the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
Robert Malley, the US special envoy to Iran, said: “Horrible at the regime’s execution of two more young Iranians following mock trials. tweet. “These executions must stop. We and others globally will continue to hold Iran’s leadership accountable.”
Four protesters have now been executed, and at least 15 others are at risk of receiving the death penalty because they have been charged with the death penalty, human rights groups say.
Hadi Ghaemi, director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, said: “The Islamic Republic has once again proven that it has no policy other than to rely on maximum violence to solve its problems. ongoing and growing opposition to their rule.
On Thursday, Iran’s arrest of Mehdi Beik, the political editor of the Etemad newspaper, whose interviews with the families of death row inmates, including Mr. Karami’s father, drew national attention.
In an audio interview posted online, senior Mr. Karami said he is a street vendor selling napkins and has invested his life savings to help his son realize his sporting dreams. .
According to Iranian news reports, Mr. Karami’s parents camped outside the prison where they heard their son might be executed and pleaded with prison officials for a final visit but were denied. .
A photo of Mr. Karami, a Kurd, circulating on social media shows a tattoo of the Olympic rings on his muscular forearm. His family says he dreams of going to the Olympics one day and this tattoo is for inspiration.
One videotapes Saturday’s word shows his grave covered with a traditional woven fabric, commonly used for weddings, and white flowers. A woman believed to be his mother is heard sobbing and calling his name.
Ahead of Saturday’s execution, Mr Hosseini’s lawyer, Ali Sharifzadeh Zakani, tweeted that he filed an appeal on Wednesday and was asked by the authorities to return on Saturday to register an appeal.
He said he was on his way to court when he heard that his client had been hanged. “Why are you in such a hurry? You can at least allow the case to be reviewed again,” he said in a statement tweet. He said earlier that Mr. Hosseini had been brutally tortured while in custody.
Hosseini’s parents are both dead, and according to Iranian media reports, no family members have yet come to claim his body. During the trial, he said that he was on his way to the cemetery to visit his parents’ grave when he got stuck in traffic due to protests and clashes that led to the death of member Basij.
In a wave of public mourning for both men on social media, many Iranians said they would mourn Mr Hossini in his family’s absence. Azar Mahisefat, a social media influencer and home chef with half a million followers on Instagram, wrote“Son, I’m crying tonight because you don’t have a mother.”
Hamideh Abbasali, an Olympic athlete and captain of Iran’s women’s national karate team, condemned the executions. On Instagram, she wrote about Mr. Karami“This child doesn’t deserve to be denied the right to live for the rest of his life,” adding that “Injustice will not last forever.”
On Saturday night, protests broke out in several neighborhoods in Tehran, video posted on social media showed, with crowds chanting, “For every person killed, there are thousands more behind him.”