Iran has confirmed the death sentence of another protester, following the hanging of three individuals in Isfahan last week in connection with the country’s nationwide protests.
Mohammad Ghobadlou received the death penalty during preliminary hearings without legal representation. He was charged with killing a policeman, and injuring several others, by allegedly running the officer over with his car during the protests. Ghobadlou’s lawyer stated on Tuesday that the higher court upheld his client’s death sentence, disregarding appeals and crucial documents that could have proved his innocence. The court did not specify the date of execution.
According to Iran International, a forensic report revealed that the policeman was killed by a blow to the head from a hard object, indicating a fight rather than an accidental incident. Police commanders also confirmed this account during the officer’s funeral.
Amnesty International announced on Tuesday that at least seven protesters were on death row in Iran, with dozens more at risk of facing the death penalty. Urgently calling for international action against the Iranian government, Amnesty issued an open letter to the authorities of the Islamic Republic, urging the immediate reversal of all convictions and death sentences linked to the protests, and demanding fair trials in accordance with international standards.
The human rights group strongly condemned the torture and ill-treatment inflicted upon detained protesters, including floggings, electric shocks, death threats, and sexual violence, stating that the authorities were violating their rights to a fair trial. So far, seven protesters have been executed in Iran.
The United Nations has documented 259 executions in Iran since January alone, highlighting the gravity of the situation.
In addition to the seven protesters facing imminent execution, four others are awaiting retrial on charges carrying the death penalty. Amnesty also reported that at least three other protesters are currently on trial for offences that could lead to a death sentence.
The nationwide protests, which began last autumn and are still ongoing, represent one of the most significant challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. The demonstrations were sparked by the death of Jina (Mahsa) Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, who died on 16 September while in the custody of Iran’s morality police.
Protests across the country have intensified as Iran has increased its rate of executions since late April.