Iran carries out first known execution in connection with protests

Iran executed a man on Thursday, state media reported, in the first known use of the death penalty in connection with anti-government protests that have gripped the country since September and challenge the leadership of church leaders.

Mohsen Shekari, 23, was hanged on Thursday after Tehran’s Revolutionary Court found him guilty of “waging war against God” for causing unrest and stabbing a member of the pro-regime Basij paramilitary force. This is reported by the Mizan news agencywhich is run by the Iranian judiciary.

Shekari was charged with blocking a street in Tehran on September 25 and injuring a Basij member with a machete. according to Mizan. He was convicted on November 1 and found guilty of “drawing guns with intent to kill people, to cause terror and to interfere with the freedom and security of people and to create insecurity in that environment”.

This is the first execution carried out in connection with the wave of unrest that erupted in Iran September to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, 22.

Amini died after being detained by Iran’s notorious morality police – a “Guidance Patrol” that enforces a dress code and has long harassed Iranian women – for allegedly not wearing the correct hijab.

Amnesty International’s official page on Iran tweeted Thursday that the organization is “appalled” by Shekari’s execution, saying he has been sentenced to death in “an extremely unfair mock trial”.

“His execution exposes the inhumanity of Iran’s so-called justice system as dozens more suffer the same fate,” read one of Amnesty International’s tweets. The group urged the international community to call on the Iranian authorities to “immediately halt all planned executions and stop using the death penalty as an [a] instrument of political repression against demonstrators in their desperate attempt to end the popular uprising.”

In this photo, taken by a person not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by vice squad, in Tehran, Oct. 1 .

Iran Human Rights ― a non-profit human rights organization with members inside and outside Iran ― said in a statement Thursday that Shekari was “denied access to his lawyer during the interrogation phase or court proceedings,” and that the hard-line Fars news agency broadcast his “coerced confessions” hours after his execution. In the video, a bruise is visible on Shekari’s right cheek.

“Mohsen Shekari was executed after a hasty and unfair trial without a lawyer,” says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said the director of Iran Human Rights. “The international community must respond immediately and firmly to this execution. The Islamic Republic must face the consequences that prevent the further execution of demonstrators. If the execution of Mohsen Shekari does not have serious consequences for the government, we will face mass executions of demonstrators.”

This is reported by Amnesty Internationalsince November, Iranian authorities have demanded the death penalty for at least 21 people in connection with the protests.

During the protests, protesters have demanded the removal of the mandatory hijab and the Guidance Patrol. The protests quickly expanded to chants for “death to the dictator” and the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

Government security forces have responded to the protests with deadly, uncompromising violence. At least 458 people have been killed in unrest since September. according to Iran’s human rights.

More recently, protesters called for shopkeepers to close their businesses for a three-day strike. Witnesses said large numbers of businesses closed across the country on Tuesday. Voice of America reported.

Many international media outlets citing Iran’s attorney general reported on Saturday that the country’s morality police had been shut down in an apparent response to the protests. However, local media later claimed that the official’s quote had been misinterpreted and no official had confirmed the closure. according to the BBC.

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