Iran declares first death sentence related to recent protests
The anonymous defendant was found guilty of “enmity against God” and “spreading corruption on Earth” by an Iranian court, and the verdict was reported by official media.
It follows weeks of protests across the country that began with Mahsa Amini’s death in September.
According to official Iranian media, the demonstrator was given the punishment by Iran’s Revolutionary Court for arson against a government building.
According to state news agency IRNA on Sunday, they were found guilty of “disturbing public order and peace, community, and colluding to commit a crime against national security, war and corruption on Earth, war through arson, and intentional destruction,”
Five additional protesters were found guilty of “collusion to commit a crime against national security and disturbance of public peace and order” and given prison terms ranging from five to ten years.
According to IRNA, these rulings are provisional and subject to review. The news organisation did not reveal the identity of the protester given the death penalty or the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime.
Since September, Iran has been shaken by anti-regime demonstrations, the largest display of discontent in recent years, prompted by indignation over the murder of Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who had been held by the morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly.
Since then, Iranian authorities have launched a harsh crackdown on demonstrators, charging over a thousand people in the province of Tehran with participating in the unrest.
Since the protests began two months ago, security forces have murdered at least 326 individuals, according to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Norway that focuses on human rights in Iran.
The group released an updated death toll on Saturday, stating the previous count was a “absolute minimum,” and adding that it now includes 43 youngsters.
Since non-state media, the internet, and protest movements in Iran have all been blocked, CNN is unable to independently verify the figure. Reporters and activists following the protests on the ground have reported varying death figures.
Iranian celebrities and athletes have come out in favour of the anti-government protests despite the prospect of jail and harsher fines for those involved.
UN experts urged Iranian authorities on Friday to “to stop indicting people with charges punishable by death for participation, or alleged participation, in peaceful demonstrations” and “to stop using the death penalty as a tool to squash protests.”