Iran executes 2 men convicted for burning Quran, insulting Mohammad

Iranian judiciary’s website claims one of the accused confessed on social media to publishing the insults

Illustrative: A prisoner being held in an Iranian prison. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
Illustrative: A prisoner being held in an Iranian prison. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Monday executed two people convicted over desecrating the Quran and insulting the Prophet Mohammad, the judiciary said.

Sadrollah Fazeli Zarei and Youssef Mehrdad were hanged in the morning, having previously been convicted over “insulting Prophet Mohammad and… burning the Quran,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported.

In March 2021, one of the accused had purportedly confessed to publishing content on his social media account admitting to the insults committed, Mizan added.

Such confessions are frequently condemned by rights groups based outside of Iran as “forced,” arguing they are often obtained under duress.

Iran executes more people yearly than any other nation except China, according to rights groups including Amnesty International.

The country hanged 75 percent more people in 2022 than the previous year, two rights groups said in April.

At least 582 people were executed in Iran last year, the highest number of executions in the country since 2015 and well above the 333 recorded in 2021, the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Paris-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) said in a joint report.

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