ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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US condemns in ‘strongest terms’ Iran’s latest executions of protesters

State Department spokesman says Tehran held ‘sham trials’ for Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini; EU says it’s ‘appalled’

Composite image showing Mohammad Karami (right) and Mohammad Hosseini, executed in Iran for allegedly killing a Basij paramilitary member during a demonstration in the city of Karaj in November 2022. (Twitter photo screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Composite image showing Mohammad Karami (right) and Mohammad Hosseini, executed in Iran for allegedly killing a Basij paramilitary member during a demonstration in the city of Karaj in November 2022. (Twitter photo screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The US State Department on Saturday condemned “in the strongest terms” what it said were the “sham trials and execution” of two men in Iran, who allegedly killed a paramilitary force member during protests sparked by a young woman’s death in custody.

“These executions are a key component of the regime’s effort to suppress protests. We continue to work with partners to pursue accountability for Iran’s brutal crackdown,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter.

The European Union also condemned the executions, saying it was “appalled” by the move.

“The EU is appalled by the execution of Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, arrested and sentenced to death in connection with the ongoing protests in Iran,” the spokesperson for EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

“This is yet another sign of the Iranian authorities’ violent repression of civilian demonstrations,” he said.

“The European Union calls once again on the Iranian authorities to immediately end the strongly condemnable practice of imposing and carrying out death sentences against protesters.”

In this photo taken by an individual 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 the morality police while in custody, in Tehran, October 27, 2022. (Middle East Images/AP)

Later Saturday, France’s foreign ministry called the executions “revolting,” saying that “the execution of demonstrators cannot stand as an answer to the Iranian people’s legitimate aspirations for freedom.”

In a statement sent to AFP, the ministry said the executions “add to the many other serious and unacceptable violations of fundamental rights and freedoms committed by the Iranian authorities.”

The condemnations came after the executions brought to four the number of people executed in Iran over the nationwide protests, which have escalated since mid-September into calls for an end to Iran’s clerical regime.

Two men were put to death in December, sparking global outrage and new Western sanctions against Tehran.

Authorities have arrested thousands of people in the wake of demonstrations that began with the September death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22.

The Iranian Kurdish woman had been arrested by morality police for allegedly breaching the regime’s strict dress code for women.

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