DUBAI: Iran has executed a protester who was convicted of injuring a security guard with a knife and closing off a street in Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Nationwide protests that erupted after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini on Sept 16 represent one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.
“Mohsen Shekari, a rioter who blocked (Tehran’s) Sattar Khan Boulevard on September 25 and stabbed the left shoulder of a Basiji was executed on Thursday morning” in the Iranian capital, IRNA reported. The victim required 13 stitches.
The judiciary said Shekari was sentenced to hang after being found guilty of fighting and drawing a weapon “with the intention of killing, causing terror and disturbing the order and security of society”, according to the news agency Mizan Online.
It convicted him of moharebeh — or waging “war against God” under Islamic sharia law — on Nov 1, said Mizan, adding that he appealed the ruling but the Supreme Court upheld it on Nov 20.
Authorities have been cracking down on the protests and on Monday, the Revolutionary Guards praised the judiciary for its tough stand and encouraged it to swiftly and decisively issue judgements for defendants accused of “crimes against the security of the nation and Islam”.
Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi announced on Tuesday that five people indicted in the killing of a Basij militia member, Rouhollah Ajamian, had been sentenced to death but said the ruling can be appealed.
Amnesty International has said the Iranian authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people in what it called “sham trials designed to intimidate those participating in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran.
“The Iranian authorities must immediately quash all death sentences, refrain from seeking the imposition of the death penalty and drop all charges against those arrested in connection with their peaceful participation in protests,” it said.
Iran has blamed the unrest on its foreign foes including the United States.
Iran executes more people annually than any nation other than China. The Oslo-based advocacy group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said earlier this week that the country had already executed over 500 people this year, a sharp jump on last year’s figure.