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Majidreza Rahnavard is the second protester to be executed amid Iran’s uprising


Iran publicly executed a protester in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Monday, a chilling warning to those still taking part in the anti-government protests that have swept the country for nearly three months.

Majid Reza Rahnavard, 23, was hanged from a construction crane. Video of the execution circulated on social media shows his body suspended, dressed in white, his hands tied behind him, spinning slowly in the darkness of dawn as a crowd gathers.

Rahnavard was found guilty of fatally stabbing two members of Iran’s security forces with a knife on Nov. 17, according to Mizan, the official judiciary news site. The site posted a photo of men wearing black ski masks at the execution site.

Rahnavard is the second protester to be executed last week, and the first to have his body publicly displayed, in what appears to be an escalation by the government as it struggles to contain the nationwide uprising. Mohsen Shekari, accused of injuring a member of the security forces, was executed last Thursday.

Protests that began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in mid-September in the custody of “morality police” have grown into a broad movement uniting opponents of clerical rule across classes and races. ethnicities.

Iranian regime at stalemate as protest movement defies crackdown

Nearly 500 civilians have been killed and some 18,000 arrested in the unrest, according to estimates by the militant HRANA news agency, but reporting restrictions make exact figures difficult to verify. At least 16 people have been sentenced to death for their role in the protests, according to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that the EU would approve a new round of sanctions against Iran.

“Iran must understand that the European Union will strongly condemn and take all possible measures to support Iranian women, support peaceful protesters and, certainly, reject the death penalty,” Borrell said.

Video from Rahnavard’s tomb shows a handful of women moaning and one saying “God damn you” to her tormentors.

Rahnavard’s family was not informed of his impending execution, according to 1500 Tasvir, an anti-government group that monitors protests. His mother recently visited him in prison and “she left smiling and hoping that her son would be released soon,” the group wrote in an online post.

Political prisoners like Rahnavard are usually tried in Revolutionary Courts, a parallel legal system that is stacked against the accused. During his trial, Rahnavard confessed to the stabbings and a video of the alleged incident was shown by the prosecution.

But these trials are often based on fabricated evidence, and defendants are frequently tortured or coerced into making incriminating confessions and statements, as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly documented.

“The public execution of a young protester, 23 days after his arrest, is another serious crime committed by the leaders of the Islamic Republic and a significant escalation in the level of violence against protesters,” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of the association based in Oslo. Human rights in Iran. “Majidreza Rahnavard was sentenced to death on the basis of a confession obtained under duress, after grossly unfair proceedings and a show trial.

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