Iran executes two more men arrested during anti-government protests
Two men convicted of killing an IRGC-linked paramilitary force member, bringing to four the number put to death for roles in wave of demonstrations sweeping Islamic Republic
Iran said it executed two men Saturday convicted of allegedly killing a paramilitary volunteer during a demonstration, the latest executions aimed at halting the nationwide protests now challenging the country’s theocracy.
Iran’s judiciary identified those executed as Mohammad Karami and Mohammad Hosseini, making it four men known to have been executed since the demonstrations began in September over the death of Mahsa Amini. All have faced internationally criticized, rapid, closed-door trials.
The judiciary’s Mizan news agency said the men had been convicted of killing Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s volunteer Basij Force, in the city of Karaj outside of Tehran on November 3. The Basij have deployed in major cities, attacking and detaining protesters, who in many cases have fought back.
Heavily edited footage aired on state television showed Karami speaking before a Revolutionary Court about the attack, which also showed a reenactment of the attack according to prosecutors’ claims. Iran’s Revolutionary Courts handed down the two other death sentences already carried out.
The tribunals don’t allow those on trial to pick their own lawyers or even see the evidence against them.
State TV also aired footage of Karami and Hosseini talking about the attack, though the broadcaster for years has aired what activists describe as coerced confessions.
Breaking: #Iran, Two more heinous executions!
Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Sayed Mohammad Houssieni were executed by the #Iranian ruthless regime! #محمد_مهدی_کرمی #سید_محمد_حسینی #IranRevoIution pic.twitter.com/e990EkTumO
— Nasrin Saifi (@NassrinSaifi) January 7, 2023
The men were convicted of the killing, as well as “corruption on Earth,” a Quranic term and charge that has been levied against others in the decades since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and carries the death penalty.
Amnesty International had decried the “fast-tracked unfair group trial” of the two men which it said bore no “resemblance to a meaningful judicial proceeding.”
Karami’s father had told Iranian media that a family lawyer had not been able to access his son’s case file.
Mohamad Aghasi, whom the family wanted to handle the case, wrote on Twitter that Karami had not been allowed to have a final meeting with his family and had foregone food and water in protest.
Karami was 22, according to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR). Hossein was 39, according to another Norway-based rights group, Hengaw.
Activists say at least 16 people have been sentenced to death in closed-door hearings over charges linked to the protests. Death sentences in Iran are typically carried out by hanging.
At least 517 protesters have been killed and over 19,200 people have been arrested, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that has closely monitored the unrest. Iranian authorities have not provided an official count of those killed or detained.
The protests began in mid-September, when 22-year-old Amini died after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. Women have played a leading role in the protests, with many publicly stripping off the compulsory Islamic headscarf, known as the hijab.
The protests mark one of the biggest challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Security forces have used live ammunition, birdshot, tear gas and batons to disperse protesters, according to rights groups.