An Iranian man holds a picture of Mahsa Amini during a protest outside the Iranian Consulate following the death of Mahsa Amini, in Istanbul, Turkey, 26 September 2022. EFE/EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Iran executes 3 men over violence during Mahsa Amini protests

Tehran, 19 May (EFE).- Iranian authorities executed three men on Friday who had been convicted over the death of three members of the security forces during protests linked to Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody last year.

Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi were executed Friday morning in the central city of Isfahan after being convicted for killing a police officer and two members of the Basij paramilitary group during anti-government protests in Esfahan city in November, Mizan, Iran’s judiciary, said in a statement.

Amnesty International denounced that the three men had been sentenced to death and charged with “moharebeh”, which in English translates as “war against God”, in a trial that lasted four days using forced confessions.

“The shocking manner in which the trial and sentencing of these protesters was fast-tracked through Iran’s judicial system amid the use of torture-tainted ‘confessions’, serious procedural flaws and a lack of evidence is another example of the Iranian authorities’ brazen disregard for the rights to life and fair trial,” AI’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy, said.

Protesters hold a vigil for 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at Sydney Town Hall, Australia, 25 September 2022. EFE/EPA/ROUNAK AMINI AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT[AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT]

“Kazemi said in an audio recording from prison that he was forced to make false self-incriminating statements after interrogators beat him, gave him electric shocks, subjected him to mock executions, and threatened to rape him, execute his brothers and harass his parents,” she added.

The Supreme Court upheld the conviction on May 10 and on the same day, the men’s families were permitted to bid their last farewells to the prisoners.

International rights groups had been calling for the executions to be paralyzed, and on Thursday night a small protest took place in front of the prison in Esfahan where the men were being held.

Friday’s hangings bring the total number of executions linked to the widespread protests that erupted late last year across the country to seven.

Amini was arrested on September 13 by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her veil correctly. Three days later she died in custody.

The young Kurdish woman’s death sparked unprecedented protests that swept the country calling for greater freedoms.

The protests have largely been propelled by young people and women but a government crackdown has led to the deaths of some 500 people, the arrest of thousands and the execution of seven protesters.

Iran carried out 576 executions in 2022, a substantial increase from the 314 recorded in the previous year, according to AI.

So far, over 200 people have been executed in 2023, the majority of them for crimes related to possession of drugs or trafficking.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, over 10 people are executed in Iran every week making Tehran “one of the world’s highest executors.” EFE