| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Iran upholds death sentence against two

Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against two protesters accused of killing a security officer during the nationwide protests that began 110 days ago and ordered a retrial of three others on death row in the same case.


Since September 16, Iran has witnessed protests following the young woman’s death, Mahsa Amini, three days after the “morality police arrested her.”


On Monday, the Human Rights Activists Agency (HRANA) said that 516 protesters, including 70 minors, and 67 members of the security forces were killed during the Iranian protests.


The organization estimates that 19,204 people have been arrested.


The judiciary handed down 13 death penalties, with two implemented so far, while the Supreme Court confirmed the maximum penalty against four and ordered a retrial of six, and one judgment remains subject to appeal.


Among the death sentences, the judiciary issued five rulings in December against five for killing Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij forces, during the protests in early November in Karaj, west of Tehran.


After the review, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling against the two. It confirmed that “the two appeals submitted by the convicts, Mohammad Mahdi Karmi and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, are invalid, and accordingly, their sentences were upheld and approved.


The death sentences against co-accused Hamid Ghare-Hasanlou, Hossein Mohammadi, and Reza Aria were overturned “due to the existence of defects in the proceedings,” the court said, adding that they would now be retried.


Amnesty International reported that Ghare-Hasanlou, a doctor, and his wife had been “caught up in the chaos,” which resulted in Ajamian’s death.


Sixteen people appeared before the judiciary in the case of the murder of Ajamian, 27, who prosecutors said was stripped naked and killed by a group of mourners celebrating the 40th anniversary of the death of Hadis Najafi, who was killed during the protests.


The court also ordered retrials for 11 other defendants handed lengthy prison terms in the case.


The judiciary’s Mizan Online website confirmed that a death sentence had been issued against Mehdi Mohammadifard after his “corruption on earth” trial and “enmity against God.”


The website stressed that the verdict is preliminary and subject to appeal before the Supreme Court, explaining that Mohammadifard is accused of “committing arson, destroying public property, colluding and conspiring to commit a crime against the country’s security and inciting people to cause insecurity.”


Human rights organizations in Iran reported that Mohammadifard, 18, had been sentenced to death for setting fire to a traffic police booth in the western city of Nowshahr.


Of the 13 death sentences announced so far, two were carried out in December against Majidreza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari after they were convicted of assaults on members of the security forces.


The Supreme Court also upheld four death sentences for Muhammad Mahdi Karmi and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, accused of attacking security officers with a knife. Mohammed Ghobadlou was charged with corruption for running over police officers with a car, one of whom was killed and wounded others.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat