Iran executes three men over recent protests

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CNN
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Iran has executed three more men over recent protests that have rocked the country, judiciary news outlet Mizan News said on Friday.

Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaqoubi were executed in Isfahan, Mizan said. The three were accused of carrying out an attack that killed three security officers in Isfahan in November 2022 during anti-government protests.

The US State Department on Thursday urged Iran to refrain from carrying out the executions, calling the proceedings “sham trials.”

And Amnesty International said the men were “fast-tracked through Iran’s judicial system” without due process being observed.

“The use of the death penalty against these men is a blatant act of vengeance against a courageous generation of protesters for steadfastly demanding the rights of Iranian people during the past seven months,” Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa said in a statement Wednesday.

Iran executed at least 582 people last year, a 75% increase on the previous year, according to human rights groups who say the rise reflects an effort by Tehran to “instill fear” among anti-regime protesters.

It was the highest number of executions in the Islamic republic since 2015, according to a report released last month by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and the France-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) groups.

More than half of the executions last year took place after the protests erupted in September.

The US State Department condemned the latest planned executions of Kazemi, Mirhashemi and Yaqoubi on Thursday.

“The execution of these men, after what have been widely regarded as sham trials, would be an affront to human rights and basic dignity in Iran and everywhere,” said State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel at a press briefing.

“It is clear from this episode that the Iranian regime has learned nothing from the protests that began with another death, the death of Mahsa Amini in September of last year,” Patel added.

Nationwide protests rocked Iran last fall, as decades of bitterness over the regime’s treatment of women and other issues boiled over after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the country’s so-called morality police.

Authorities violently repressed the months-long movement, which had posed one of the biggest domestic threats to Iran’s ruling clerical regime in more than a decade.

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