Iran protests: A Tehran court executes the first victim of the turmoil.





According to official television, a judge in Iran has sentenced the first individual to death for participating in the nationwide protests.

The unnamed defendant was judged guilty of “enmity against God” by the Revolutionary Court for setting fire to a government building.

Five people were sentenced by another court to prison terms of five to ten years on grounds of public safety and national security.

Authorities may be preparing “hurried executions,” according to a human rights organisation.

According to data from government agencies cited by Iran Human Rights, at least 20 persons are now charged with crimes that carry the death penalty.

Its director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, called on the international community to take urgent action and “strongly warn the Islamic Republic of the consequences of executing protesters.

Protests against Iran’s clerical establishment erupted two months ago after the death in custody of a young woman detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict hijab rules.


They are reported to have spread to 140 cities and towns and evolved into the most significant challenge to the Islamic Republic in over a decade.


According to report, at least 326 protesters, including 43 children and 25 women, have been killed in a violent crackdown by security forces, according to Iran Human Rights.


The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), which is also based outside the country, has put the death toll at 339 and said another 15,300 protesters have detained. It has also reported the deaths of 39 security personnel.


Iran’s leaders have portrayed the protests as “riots” instigated by the country’s foreign enemies.


Last week, judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei declared that “key perpetrators” should be identified as soon as possible and handed sentences that would have a deterrent effect on others.


He warned that “rioters” could be charged with “moharebeh” (enmity against God), “efsad fil-arz” (corruption on Earth) and “baghy” (armed rebellion) – all of which can carry the death penalty in Iran’s Sharia-based legal system.


Those possessing and using a weapon or firearm, disrupting national security, or killing someone could receive “qisas” (retaliation in kind), he said, apparently responding to a call for retributive justice from 272 of the 290 members of Iran’s parliament.

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