The Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday executed a second person for participating in the nationwide protests that threaten the country’s regime, the Associated Press reported.
The hanging of Majidreza Rahnavard only 23 days after his arrest “shows the speed at which Iran now carries out death sentences handed down for those detained in demonstrations the government hopes to put down,” the agency said.
Iran’s Mizan news agency, under the country’s judiciary, accused Rahnavard of stabbing two security force members to death and wounding four others on 17 November in Mashhad, the second most populous city in Iran. The Iranian state tv aired footage claiming to show Rahnavard stabbing two people, both members of the paramilitary Basij force according to Mizan.
Mizan also reported that Rahnavard was hanged in the presence of a group of Mashhadi citizens, posting photos allegedly showing the execution.
Rahnavard’s execution followed the 8 December hanging of 23-year-old protester Mohsen Shekari who was arrested in September for blocking a road and wounding a pro-regime enforcer during protests.
At least 27 other protesters are believed to be under death sentence, reports Iranwire.
Iran has been in turmoil since the death of a young Kurdish woman, Jina Mahsa Amini, in September after her arrest and maltreatment by the morality police for violating the law requiring women to cover their hair. Protests have been continuous and nationwide since that day.
So far, at least 488 protesters have been killed by security forces and 18,259 others have been detained, according to the Human Rights Activists’ News Agency.
The primary charges levelled against protesters are, “waging war against God”, “hostility to Islamic rule” and “spreading corruption on earth”. Among the allegations are destruction of property, assaulting police officers or involvement in cases related to the deaths of Basij members.
Defendants claim they are kept in solitary confinement, denied the lawyer of their choice and not granted rights when they deny the charges, while some of them claim to have been subjected to mental and physical torture, reports Iranwire.
Five of those under the death sentence were convicted in relation to the death of Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij.
One of these, Hamid Gharehasanlou, the agency reports, is a radiologist and a member of the Gonabadi Dervish religious community. He was arrested along with his wife Farzaneh, who was tortured to testify against him, and herself sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Gharehasanlou is seen in videos of the incident, but his brother says he was examining the victim while he was still alive and advised that he be taken to hospital. The exact charge against him remains unclear, but he refused to admit guilt despite being subjected to torture. Six of his ribs were broken while he was in custody, and his death sentence was delivered to him while he was in hospital for surgery.
The news agency also reports on three under-18s sentenced to up to 25 years for their alleged involvement in Ajamian’s death.
Eight of the remaining death sentences relate to two other cases of members of the Basij killed, reports the agency, while the remaining defendants were sentenced to death despite the absence of any victim.
The family of rapper Toumaj Salehi told Iranwire that he was accused of “corruption on Earth”. Tasnim news agency quoted Isfahan Chief Justice as accusing Salehi of “spreading lies”, “propaganda against the regime”, “forming and running illegal groups with the intention of disrupting the security of the country”, “collaborating with hostile states against the Islamic Republic”, “confusing public opinion” through social media and “inciting and encouraging people to commit violent acts”.
Sahand Nourmohammadzadeh (26) was arrested during protests in Tehran on 4 October and later accused of “waging war against God” by “attempting to break a guardrail and setting fire to a rubbish bin.” He rejected the accusation, saying in an audio file provided to IranWire that he only moved the guardrail and kicked the trash can twice.