Iran hangs anti-government protestor in first official execution

Iran hangs anti-government protestor in first official execution
Credit: Adrien Festraets / Belga

Iran on Thursday executed the first man arrested during protests against the regime in recent months, reported the official state news agency Irna.

Mohsen Shekari was accused of blocking an avenue in the capital Tehran on 25 September and injuring a member of a paramilitary militia with a knife. According to the judiciary, there was just over a month's time between the man’s first appearance in court and his execution on Thursday, highlighting the speed with which the Iranian authorities aim to prosecute cases linked with "riots".

Shekari on 20 November received his preliminary death sentence and was hanged on Thursday 8 December.

Mass demonstrations against the regime, which the authorities see as riots, have been taking place in Iran for almost three months in which thousands of people have been arrested. At least 11 of those arrested have been sentenced to death, and according to the organisation Iran Human Rights Watch, some additional 450 protesters have been killed by Iranian security forces.

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The wave of protests is the largest for Iran in years and began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a woman of Kurdish origin who died in detention after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely.

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