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World: Iran seeks to quell protests with death sentences, activists warn

Iran: New wave of protest awaited - the first death sentence confirms

 Iran: New wave of protest awaited - the first death sentence confirms in Iran on Tuesday many people called for a general strike and other protests against the regime in Tehran . According to observers, the strike also applies as a protest against the bloody suppression of demonstrations in 2019, which will be for the third time these days. According to the Reuters news agency, 1,500 people were largely killed by the world public in just a few days. © AP Protests against the regime in Tehran. Another intensive protest wave is expected for the coming days.

Iran, already one of the world's most prolific users of the death penalty, is planning to use capital punishment as a means to quell the protest movement by spreading a climate of fear in the population, activists warn.

The protests in Iran have turned into the biggest challenge for the authorities under supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi since the 1979 Islamic revolution © ATTA KENARE The protests in Iran have turned into the biggest challenge for the authorities under supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi since the 1979 Islamic revolution

The judiciary has already confirmed six death sentences over the protests, with Amnesty International saying that based on official reports at least 21 people currently on trial are charged with crimes that could see them hanged.

Motorcycle-borne gunmen kill nine in protest-hit Iran

  Motorcycle-borne gunmen kill nine in protest-hit Iran Gunmen on motorcycles in Iran killed nine people, including two children, in mysterious attacks as protests over Mahsa Amini's death intensified on the anniversary of a bloody 2019 crackdown. The motorbike attacks occurred as protests over the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, after her arrest for allegedly flouting Iran's strict dress code for women, intensified on the third anniversary of bloody crackdown on unrest over fuel price hikes.The unrest has been fanned by fury over the brutal enforcement of the mandatory hijab law, but has grown into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran currently executes more people annually than any nation other than China, according to rights groups.

Amnesty International says Iran put to death at least 314 people in 2021, while Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) says the number of executions this year is already much higher at 482.

Campaigners warn that not only do the authorities plan to execute protesters on vague charges linked to alleged rioting or attacks on security forces during the demonstrations, but also step up hangings not related to the protest movement, notably of prisoners convicted on drug-related charges.

Protesters in New York call on the United Nations to take action against the treatment of women in Iran, following the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police © Yuki IWAMURA Protesters in New York call on the United Nations to take action against the treatment of women in Iran, following the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police

Amnesty said the authorities' pursuit of the death penalty is "designed to intimidate those participating in the popular uprising... and deter others from joining the movement".

Angry funerals spark new protests in Iran

  Angry funerals spark new protests in Iran Funerals for young Iranians, including a small boy, who families say were killed in a state crackdown, sparked a new wave of anti-regime protests on Friday in the Islamic republic. State television said seven people had been buried, including a nine-year-old boy, adding they had been killed by "terrorists" on motorbikes.Iran's clerical leadership under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is facing its biggest challenge since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in two months of protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.

The strategy aims to "instill fear among the public", it added, condemning a "chilling escalation in the use of the death penalty as a tool of political repression and the systematic violation of fair trial rights in Iran".

- 'Strong signal' -

The Iranian judiciary has conspicuously not named the six convicts already sentenced to death in a possible bid to prevent their names becoming rallying causes or hashtags on social media.

They have all been convicted either of "enmity against God" ("moharebeh") or "corruption on earth" ("efsad-e fel arz"), sharia-related charges that are capital crimes in Iran and which rights activists have long feared are used against opponents of the regime.

Iranian refugees and Iranians living in Greece lit candles forming the name 'Mahsa' during a demonstration to commemorate 40 days from the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody in Iran © Louisa GOULIAMAKI Iranian refugees and Iranians living in Greece lit candles forming the name 'Mahsa' during a demonstration to commemorate 40 days from the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody in Iran

Amnesty has nonetheless said the nature of the charges makes it possible to deduce the names of those sentenced so far.

Human rights activists: According to the Iran Human Rights organization, more than 370 deaths in Iran

 Human rights activists: According to the Iran Human Rights organization, more than 370 deaths in Iran © dpa have been killed in Iran since the start of the protests in Iran. in the protests that have been going on for more than two months after the death of the young Kurdin Mahsa Amini in Iran have been killed in the organization Iran Human Rights (her) so far, including 47 children. According to the Hengaw human rights group, Hengaw resident in Norway, for recent protests in the Province of Kurdistan, at least three people shot at least three people.

They include Mohammad Ghobadlou, a young man whose mother has been seen on social media making an impassioned plea for her son's life.

Among the 21 facing the death penalty is one woman, named by Amnesty as Farzaneh Ghare-Hasanlou, as well as her husband Hamid, a medical doctor.

Another risking capital punishment is Saman Seydi, also known as Saman Yasin, a Tehran-based rapper from Iran's Kurdish minority who has backed the protests on social media and is accused of firing into the air and harming national security.

Rights groups are calling for concerted action from the international community to stop the executions, especially with the UN Human Rights Council set to hold a rare special session on Iran on Thursday.

Campaigners had already noticed a troubling uptick in capital punishment this year even before the protest movement got underway, with Iran again executing large numbers on drug-related charges despite recent moves to limit such executions.

Rights groups also complain that disproportionately large numbers from Iran's ethnic minorities are executed, including Kurds but especially Baluch from the country's impoverished southeast.

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  Who’s Afraid of Masih Alinejad? The journalist and activist is caught between a regime that hates her and a diaspora whose elite isn’t eager to give her credit for anything. “When the protests started, Iranian-studies scholars were silent at first,” Kelly J. Shannon, a historian at Florida Atlantic University, told me. “Then when they spoke up, one of the first things they did was criticize Alinejad.” As a feminist, Shannon said, she found it odd that a woman campaigning for women’s rights had risen so high on the list of priorities for critique.

"Unless the international community sends a very, very strong signal to the Islamic republic authorities, we will be facing mass executions," the director of IHR Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam told the World Congress against the Death Penalty in Berlin.

He pointed to "not just political executions, but the ones that cost the least politically, particularly drug-related charges".

- 'Barrier of fear' -

The protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by morality police in Tehran, have turned into the biggest challenge for the authorities since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Authorities in Iran describe the protests as "riots" with judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei saying those on trial are "affiliated with counter-revolutionary elements" and will be "punished according to the law".

Earlier this month, 227 out of Iran's 290 MPs voted for a motion urging the use of the death penalty in relation to the protests, calling on the judiciary to apply "an eye for an eye" retributive justice.

The past year had already seen Iranians in and outside the country mobilising against the use of the death penalty, with the Persian hashtag #edam_nakon (#dont_execute) becoming a viral trend.

Among those currently languishing in jail in Iran is film director Mohammad Rasoulof, who was arrested even before the protests began and whose anti-death penalty film "There is No Evil" won the top prize at the 2020 Berlin film festival.

"The Islamic republic has used the death penalty to uphold the barrier of fear for 43 years," said Amiry-Moghaddam.

"The current protests have seen the collapse of that barrier which the Iranian authorities are now attempting to rebuild with the current repression and death sentences," he added.

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Iranian man shot dead by state forces after celebrating Iran's World Cup elimination, human rights group says .
Iranian authorities shoot and kill a man celebrating the country's elimination from the 2022 World Cup, according to a human rights group, as the Islamic Republic intensifies attempts to quash dissent in the wake of Mahsa Amini's death in September.The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights said 27-year-old Mehran Samak was one of many citizens celebrating the loss of Iran — the national team symbolises the regime to many Iranians — across the country after the United States claimed a one-nil victory in Qatar.

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