Iran Sentences 400 People To Up To 10 Years In Prison For Protests

Protesters in Iran have been sentenced to death and lengthy prison sentences for demonstrating against the government and in support of women.

Courts in the Iranian capital of Tehran and surrounding provinces jailed 400 people on Tuesday in connection with recent anti-government protests, The Guardian reported. Described as “rioters” in official rulings, the convicted demonstrators were handed extreme sentences.

“One hundred and sixty people were sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison, 80 people to two to five years and 160 people to up to two years,” said Tehran’s judiciary chief Ali Alghasi-Mehr, as quoted by the regional Mizan news agency, per The Guardian.

Another 70 people were fined, the BBC reported.

Nationwide protests erupted after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested on Sept. 13 for allegedly failing to properly wear a hijab, died in custody. Witnesses said she had been beaten by officials, spurring outrage against the Islamic Republic’s religious laws, “morality police” and treatment of women.

Since then, 490 demonstrators, including 68 children and 62 security personnel, have been killed, Human Rights Activists News Agency reported. Of the more than 18,200 people arrested in relation to these protests, only 3,780 have been publicly identified.

Iranian officials said in early November that 1,024 people in Tehran were charged for anti-government protests. The detained had purportedly committed “acts of sabotage” including “assaulting or martyring the guards” and “setting fire to public property,” officials said.

The Iranian government has cracked down on civil unrest.
The Iranian government has cracked down on civil unrest.
AFP via Getty Images

Tuesday’s sentences came one day after the government publicly hanged Majidreza Rahnavard, a 23-year-old convicted less than two weeks ago of “enmity against God” for allegedly stabbing two members of the pro-government Basij Resistance Force.

Last month, Tehran’s Revolutionary Court found 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari of the same. He was executed last week.

Amnesty International told the BBC that Rahnavard’s execution was “a tool of repression” to “spread fear” among potential protestors and that his trial was a sham. The group also said it has since identified at least 20 other people at serious risk of impending execution.

Eleven of those people have already been sentenced to death. Three have undergone trial and are either awaiting their death sentences or already received them. The remaining six, including 26-year-old Iranian soccer player Amir Reza Nasr Azadani, are awaiting trial.

The global soccer players’ union FIFPRO “is shocked and sickened by reports that professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani faces execution in Iran after campaigning for women’s rights and basic freedom in his country,” the organization tweeted.

“We stand in solidarity with Amir and call for the immediate removal of his punishment,” the group added.

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