Iran conducts first execution of women’s rights protester


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In this Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, a police motorcycle and a trash bin are burning during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by the nation’s morality police, in downtown Tehran, Iran. Spontaneous mass gatherings to persistent scattered demonstrations have unfolded elsewhere in Iran, as nationwide protests over the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police enter their fourth week.(AP Photo) AP

Iran conducts first execution of women’s rights protester

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Iran executed a man on Thursday who injured a paramilitary officer during the unrest that was spurred by the death of Mahsa Amini, in the first known execution tied to the monthslong protests, according to state media reported.

Mohsen Shekari, who stabbed a member of the Basij paramilitary force at a protest in Tehran in September, was executed by hanging for “waging war against God,” according to Mizan Online, a news agency affiliated with Iran’s judiciary. Shekari was sentenced to death in October.


Critics of the Iranian regime, however, have claimed that the trial was a “show trial” that occurred without due process.

“[Shekari’s] execution must be met with the strongest possible terms and international reactions,” Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director of Iran Human Rights, said in a statement. “Otherwise, we will be facing daily executions of protesters who are protesting for their fundamental human rights.”

At least 11 other Iranian protesters have been sentenced to death by execution, with authorities seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people, according to Amnesty International.

The protests began after the death of 22-year-old Amini, who died on Sept. 16 while in custody of the state’s morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab correctly. Protests have been going on in the country for three months. At least 458 people have died during the protests, according to Iran Human Rights.

Several European leaders condemned Shekari’s execution, with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock claiming the Iranian regime’s “inhumanity knows no bounds.” Officials from France, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic also condemned the execution.

“Outraged by the tragic news of the first execution of a protestor in Iran,” British Foreign Minister James Cleverly tweeted. “The world cannot turn a blind eye to the abhorrent violence committed by the Iranian regime against its own people. The UK is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.”


Shekari was sentenced by Judge Abolghassem Salavati, who the United States sanctioned in 2019 for handing out harsh sentences.

“Salavati alone has sentenced more than 100 political prisoners, human rights activists, media workers, and others seeking to exercise freedom of assembly to lengthy prison terms as well as several death sentences,” the U.S. Treasury said in 2019. “Judges on these Revolutionary Courts, including Salavati, have acted as both judge and prosecutor, deprived prisoners of access to lawyers, and intimidated defendants.”

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