Iran issues first death sentence over Mahsa Amini protests

Iran’s judicial branch said that over the past week, more than 800 people have been arrested in Tehran alone, and the first death sentence has been handed down over the country’s growing protests.

The morality police responsible for Mahsa Amini’s death, which led to months of protests, has been met with a severe response from Iranian authorities, leading to thousands of arrests.

At least 20 people are facing charges in Iran that could result in the death penalty, according to an Iran Human Rights group based in Norway.

A person was found guilty of setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, and gathering for a crime against national security.

The Iran judiciary said five other people were also convicted of “gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against national security and disturbing public order”, and sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison.

More than 250 of Iran’s 290 parliamentarians recently called for the judiciary to impose the death penalty against those who have harmed people’s lives and property using bladed weapons and firearms, in a retaliatory justice ‘an eye for an eye’.

Upwards of 2,000 individuals have already been indicted, nearly half of them in Tehran, since the protests started, according to judiciary figures.

Dozens of activists, journalists, and lawyers have been arrested as a result of the purge, and their continued detention has generated global outrage.

An Iranian official said on Sunday that prominent dissident Hossein Ronaghi, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 50 days and was arrested in September, has been transferred to a hospital.

The family of Mr Ronaghi, who was arrested on September 24, said that he was at risk of dying because of a kidney condition and that both his legs had been broken in prison.

According to Hassan Ronaghi, Hossein was taken to one of the Dey hospital’s departments. He said that his parents were barred from seeing him. ‘His life is in jeopardy.’

The Iranian government on Friday denounced a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian dissidents, calling his comments afterward “discouraging and deplorable”.

Macron met with four prominent dissidents, all of whom are women, and expressed his “admiration and respect for the brave revolution they are leading.”

Masih Alinejad, an influential US-based activist who has fought against the mandatory headscarf, spoke with AFP and said, “President Macron acknowledged the Iranian uprising, and that is an incredibly historic decision.”

The Institute for Human Rights says that at least 326 people have been killed by the security forces’ response to nationwide protests.

More than 123 people have been killed in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province, which adjoins Pakistan.

Security forces gunned down demonstrators after afternoon prayers on September 30 in Zahedan, the capital of Baluchistan Province—a day that activists dubbed “Bloody Friday”.

The protest on September 30 was sparked by the reported rape of a 15-year-old girl by a police commander in Chabahar’s port city.

An Iranian official said a delegation from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed sadness and promised solutions in Zahedan over the weekend, official media reported.