First death sentence linked to protests over Mahsa Amini’s death issued

Thousands of people are protesting in Iran since mid-September, against the Hijab and other restrictions on women after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of morality police. On Sunday, the judiciary in Iran issued the first death sentence against a protestor linked to riots in Iran. The accused was sentenced to death for “setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, assembly and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security, and an enemy of God and corruption on earth.”

According to Iranian media, the charges of which the man was accused are considered the most serious offenses under Iranian law, especially of being an enemy of God and corruption on Earth.

The conviction comes after an attempt by Iranian authorities to violently suppress the protests and hundreds were killed in the police firings. The courts in Tehran have convicted several people for periods extending up to 10-15 years and the protestors in jail are also facing torture and violation of their human rights.

Since the demonstrations began in mid-September, more than 2000 people have already been charged, while thousands rot in jail without any official charges. The protestors faced charges ranging from incitement to killing, harming security forces, propaganda against the regime, and damaging public property.

Not just protestors, the Iranian authorities are also targeting journalists and other members of civil society. Within these also, women especially those who don’t wear Hijab, seem to be the special focus of the government. According to a report by press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Iran government has arrested an unprecedented number of female journalists.

“As the Iranian regime continues its crackdown on the protests initiated by Mahsa Amini’s death, almost half of all newly arrested journalists are women, including two who are facing the death penalty,” said the press watchdog.

The United States has imposed sanctions on a number of Iranian officials who are involved in the crackdown on protestors. “We will continue to find ways to support the people of Iran as they peacefully protest in defense of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in doing so, will continue to impose costs on individuals and entities in Iran who engage in the brutal repression of the Iranian people,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.



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