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Iran sentences 5 to death over killing of Basij paramilitary officer

11 others, including 3 children, get lengthy prison sentences over involvement in death of Ruhollah Ajamian during nationwide protests

A motorcycle of Basij, Iranian paramilitary militia, is set on fire during a protest after a 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini's death when she was detained by the morality police, in Tehran, October 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Middle East Images)
A motorcycle of Basij, Iranian paramilitary militia, is set on fire during a protest after a 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini's death when she was detained by the morality police, in Tehran, October 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Middle East Images)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has sentenced to death five people over the killing of a member of the Basij paramilitary force during nationwide protests, the judiciary said Tuesday.

Another 11 people, including three children, were handed lengthy jail terms over the death of Ruhollah Ajamian, judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi told a news conference, adding the sentences could be appealed.

A group of 15 people had been charged with “corruption on earth” over the death of Ajamian on November 3 in Karaj, a city west of Tehran, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported last week.

Prosecutors said Ajamian, 27, was stripped naked and killed by a group of mourners who had been paying tribute to a slain protester, Hadis Najafi, during ceremonies marking 40 days since her death.

Najafi was killed during unrest that has gripped Iran since the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, after her arrest for an alleged breach of the country’s dress code for women.

Initially, on November 12, Mizan Online announced charges for 11 people over Ajamian’s killing, including one woman, but as the trial opened, it said 15 defendants in the case had been charged.

An Iranian general said on Monday that more than 300 people have been killed in the unrest, including dozens of members of the security forces.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have been arrested, including 40 foreigners and prominent actors, journalists and lawyers.

The latest court rulings bring to 11 the number of people sentenced to death in Iran over the violence sparked by Amini’s death.

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