We’ve reported on the ongoing protests in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, reportedly from being beaten while in custody following her arrest for “unsuitable attire.” Late in October, the Biden Administration announced it was levying sanctions against 14 Iranian officials in response to the government’s crackdown.
Apparently unphased by this, the Iranian parliament has elected to crack down even harder, voting last Tuesday to execute the 15,000 protesters who have been arrested.
This is horrifying. The Iranian parliament votes overwhelmingly (227-63) to execute the 15,000 protesters they already arrested.
These were peaceful protestors simply seeking the right to basic justice and autonomy. Unacceptable and barbaric.https://t.co/7mMd2hIwTb
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) November 14, 2022
Iranian lawmakers have, in recent days, called for strict punishments for the protesters who have been arrested. On Monday, CNN reported that a letter signed by 227 members of the Iranian parliament urged that the protesters be given harsh punishment that “would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time.”
“Now, the public, even protesters who are not supportive of riots, demand from the judiciary and security institutions to deal with the few people who have caused disturbances in a firm, deterrent, and legal manner,” Iranian government spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said, according to Reuters.
On Tuesday, parliament did just that, voting to impose the death penalty on all protesters in custody as a “hard lesson” for all rebels. The majority in favor of the penalty was considerable, 227 out of the 290 total members, matching the number of lawmakers who signed the letter.
Their preferred method of “deal[ing] with the few people who have caused disturbances” has (understandably) sparked outrage. Following the letter calling for harsh punishment to “serve as a good lesson,” journalist Omid Memarian called on the world to respond.
Outrageous! After killing 100s of protesters on the streets & a violent crackdown, 227 MPs in Iran called the protesters “Mohareb” & asked the judiciary to issue “retribution” sentences [execution]. The world should respond. Dangerous!#MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی #IranRevoIution pic.twitter.com/CBdyE6mStS
— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) November 6, 2022
Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad called on the world to “stop this act of terror.”
227 members of the 290-seat Parliament in Iran have called on the Judiciary to issue death sentences for people arrested during the ongoing uprising.
They want to execute innocent protesters who chanted Woman Life Freedom.
The world must stop this act of terror.#MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/NoaCcG1n6h
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 6, 2022
On Monday, a Revolutionary Court in Tehran issued the first death sentence to a protestor. Per the BBC:
A court in Iran has issued the first death sentence to a person arrested for taking part in the protests that have engulfed the country, state media say.
A Revolutionary Court in Tehran found the defendant, who was not named, had set fire to a government facility and was guilty of “enmity against God”.
Another court jailed five people for between five and 10 years on national security and public order charges.
A human rights group warned authorities might be planning “hasty executions”.
At least 20 people are currently facing charges punishable by death, Norway-based Iran Human Rights said, citing official reports.
Also on Monday, the White House issued the following statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan regarding the continued crackdown:
We are deeply concerned about reports from Iran of mass arrests, sham trials, and now a death sentence for protesters voicing legitimate demands against a government that systematically denies basic dignity and freedom to its people. The reported death sentence comes at the same time as the political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi was reportedly transferred from Evin prison to a hospital in Tehran after reports of torture. The eyes of the world are on Iran. The human rights abuses inflicted by its government must not go without consequence. The hundreds of protestors already killed at the hands of Iranian state authorities deserve justice. The torture and mistreatment of political prisoners like Mr. Ronaghi must cease. The United States, standing with our partners and allies around the world, will continue to pursue accountability for those responsible for these abuses through sanctions and other means. We welcome the new sanctions adopted today by the European Union and the United Kingdom against 29 Iranian individuals and three entities involved in the violent crackdown on protestors. The United States stands staunchly with the Iranian people and their demands.
The EU sanctions referred to by Sullivan were announced Monday morning:
BRUSSELS, Nov 14 (Reuters) – The European Union on Monday slapped additional sanctions on Iran, targeting 29 individuals and three organisations, in response to what it has condemned as Tehran’s widespread use of force against peaceful protesters.
“We stand with the Iranian people and support their right to protest peacefully and voice their demands and views freely,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
The unrest in Iran continues amid accusations by the Iranian government that it is being fomented by foreign powers and apparent attempts to rearm Houthi rebels in Yemen, though U.S. Naval forces interrupted part of this effort last week, as we reported.
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