(CTN NEWS) – TEHRAN – Iran‘s judiciary announced on Monday that three further defendants had been found guilty of murdering security personnel during demonstrations brought on by Mahsa Amini’s passing (Jan 9).
Since Kurdish Iranian Amini, 22, died in detention on September 16 as a result of her arrest for allegedly breaking Iran’s severe dress code for women, civil unrest in the Islamic Republic has been raging.
With the most recent sentences, which are still subject to appeal, there have already been 17 people executed in connection with the nearly four-month-long protests.
Six people who were given the death penalty have been granted retrials, and there have been four executions.
According to the judiciary’s Mizan Online news website, Saleh Mirhashemi, Majid Kazemi, and Saeed Yaghoubi were found guilty of “moharebeh,” or waging “war against God,” and were therefore given death sentences.
They were also all found guilty of being members of a criminal organisation with the goal to undermine national security, a crime punishable by a 10-year prison sentence.
For the event that resulted in the deaths of the three security force members in the central Iranian province of Isfahan on November 16, two additional people received prison sentences, according to Mizan.
Amir Nasr-Azadani, a professional football player, is one of them. He was sentenced to a total of 26 years in prison on three separate counts, including helping with “moharebeh.”
But according to Iranian law, he must serve them simultaneously, which would put him in jail for 16 years, it claimed.
Nasr-case Azadani’s and the possibility that he may receive a death sentence had alarmed people abroad, particularly FIFPRO, the international association of professional footballers.
According to Mizan, any of the punishments handed down might be challenged in front of the national supreme court.
Iranian officials refer to the protests, which they typically refer to as “riots,” as having resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests, including security personnel.
Tehran charges opposition organisations and hostile foreign nations with inciting the turmoil.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, reportedly told an audience in Tehran on Monday that the aim of those involved in the riots was to undermine rather than strengthen the nation.
The turmoil, according to Khamenei, was caused by “economic and livelihood concerns,” but he insisted that “burning trash cans and rioting in the streets” were unacceptable solutions.
He continued, “There is no doubt that these actions constitute treason, and the accountable institutions treat treason seriously and fairly.
Iran killed Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini on Saturday for the murder of a paramilitary force member in Karaj, west of Tehran, in November.
Global outcry over the murders has led to additional Sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Pope Francis called on Monday to abolish the death penalty everywhere, including in Iran.
“The death penalty cannot be used for a claimed state justice,” he stated. “It neither serves as a deterrence nor does it provide justice to victims; it only feeds the desire for retribution.”
Amnesty International, a rights organization based in London, claims that with at least 314 executions scheduled for 2021, Iran will utilise the death sentence the second most behind China.
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