Iran issues first known death sentence to anti-government protester
Iran has issued its first known death sentence in connection with mass protests that have swept the country in response to the death of a 22-year-old woman while she was in police custody in September.
Mizan Online, the website of Iran’s Revolutionary Court, reported Sunday that it had issued a death sentence linked to “riots.”
The outlet said the sentence was handed down for the crime of “setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, assembly and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security, and an enemy of God and corruption on earth.”
Another Tehran court sentenced five people to prison terms, ranging from five to 10 years, for “gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against national security and disturbing public order.”
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The ruling likely marks the first death sentence in the trials of those arrested for participating in protests that have swept Iran over the past weeks demanding an end to clerical rule.
The Revolutionary Court was established following the 1979 Islamic Revolutions and is known for meting out harsh punishments to those who oppose Iran’s clerical rulers.
Iran has already issued indictments for hundreds of detained protesters, saying it will hold public trials for them.
Anti-government demonstrations have entered their eighth week and were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained after allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.
Judicial authorities have announced charges against hundreds of people in other Iranian provinces. Some have been accused of “corruption on earth” and “war against God,” offenses that carry the death penalty.
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Security forces, including paramilitary volunteers with the Revolutionary Guard, have violently cracked down on the demonstrations, killing more than 300 people, including dozens of children, according to the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights. Iranian authorities say more than 40 security forces were also killed in the nationwide unrest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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