Iran on Monday hanged two males on costs of spreading blasphemy on social media, prompting US condemnation and accusations from Amnesty Worldwide the Islamic republic has reached a “new low” in a spree of executions.
Sadrollah Fazeli Zare and Youssef Mehrdad, convicted of desecrating the Koran and insulting the Prophet Mohammed, had been hanged within the morning in a jail within the central metropolis of Arak, the judiciary’s Mizan On-line web site stated.
Their execution got here as concern intensifies a couple of spike in executions in Iran this 12 months, after 2022 noticed extra folks hanged than in any 12 months since 2015, in accordance with rights teams.
Activists accuse the authorities of utilizing capital punishment as a method to intimidate the inhabitants after anti-regime protests that erupted in September final 12 months shook the clerical management.
Amnesty stated in a press release Monday’s execution represented “a surprising new low for Iran’s authorities and solely furthers Iran’s pariah standing”.
“They had been hanged solely for social media posts in a grotesque assault on the rights to life and freedom of faith.”
In Washington, State Division spokesman Vedant Patel stated the executions had been a “grave reminder of the Iranian regime’s penchant for abusing and violating the human rights of Iranian folks.”
“Blasphemy legal guidelines stay an affront to human rights worldwide, together with in Iran,” he instructed reporters.
The director of Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR), Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, stated the execution of “two folks for expressing their opinions” needs to be a “turning level for nations with freedom of expression values” of their relations with Tehran.
– ‘Authorities-sanctioned homicide’ –
The pair had been accused of working social media channels and teams that promoted atheism and insulted Islamic “sanctities”, Mizan stated.
It added one among them in March 2021 had purportedly confessed throughout a courtroom session to publishing the content material in query on his social media account.
Stories stated the 2 had been arrested in June 2020 over a channel on the Telegram messaging app.
They had been sentenced to dying in April 2023 after which held in solitary confinement, in accordance with reviews.
Mehrdad was the daddy of three youngsters, in accordance with Persian media primarily based outdoors Iran.
“The execution of those residents is a blatant instance of the government-sanctioned homicide of residents who’ve totally different beliefs than these of the Islamic republic’s leaders,” stated Hadi Ghaemi, director of the New York-based Heart for Human Rights in Iran.
Whereas the Islamic republic’s legislation permits executions for blasphemy, hangings of individuals convicted of such costs have been comparatively uncommon in recent times.
IHR stated an Iranian man was executed in 2013 for questioning the Koran’s narrative on the lifetime of the prophet Jonah within the stomach of a whale.
The overwhelming majority of individuals executed in Iran have been convicted of drug-related or homicide costs.
– ‘Crush protests’ –
Iran executes extra folks yearly than every other nation besides China, in accordance with rights teams together with Amnesty.
IHR and the Paris-based Collectively In opposition to the Dying Penalty stated final month 2022 had seen the very best variety of executions within the Islamic republic since 2015 with 582 folks hanged.
And to this point in 2023, at the least 208 folks have been executed, in accordance with IHR.
On Friday, Amiry-Moghaddam stated that over the ten earlier days Iran had executed “one particular person each six hours… whereas the worldwide group has remained silent”.
The spike in executions since final 12 months has coincided with nationwide demonstrations triggered by the September 16 dying in custody of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly violating strict gown guidelines for ladies.
4 males had been executed in reference to the protests in 2022, drawing worldwide condemnation, however activists need higher strain on Iran to cease all executions.
On Saturday, Iran executed Swedish-Iranian dissident Habib Chaab for “terrorism”, prompting sharp criticism from Sweden and the European Union.
Amnesty stated the execution got here after a grossly unfair trial marred by torture and compelled confessions.
In the meantime, German-Iranian Jamshid Sharmahd, 68, is condemned to dying by Iran, which doesn’t recognise twin nationality, in reference to a lethal mosque bombing in 2008.
His household strongly reject the fees and say Sharmahd was kidnapped by Iranian safety forces to face trial in Tehran whereas travelling within the Gulf in 2020.
“With out pressing worldwide motion, the Iranian authorities will proceed to deploy the dying penalty to torment and terrorise your complete inhabitants, crush protests and different types of dissent,” stated Amnesty.
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