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U.N. Condemns Iranian Executions as Families of Death Row Prisoners Plead for Loved Ones’ Lives

HeadlineJan 11, 2023

Iran has sentenced three more people to death in connection with nationwide protests that have been ongoing since the September death of Mahsa Amini while in custody of Iran’s “morality police.” There have been four known executions linked to protests thus far. On Tuesday, the U.N. slammed the executions as “state-sanctioned killings.”

Ravina Shamdasani: “Criminal proceedings and the death penalty are being weaponized by the Iranian government to punish individuals participating in protests and to strike fear into the population to stamp out dissent, in violation of international human rights law. Four individuals engaged in the recent demonstrations have been executed over the past month, following expedited trials that have not met minimum guarantees of fair trial and due process required by international human rights law.”

This week, protesters gathered in front of a prison in the city of Karaj where some death row prisoners are being held. The mother of 22-year-old Mohammad Ghobadlou, who has been sentenced to death, is pleading for help to prevent the killing of her son, who she says has a history of mental illness.

Masoumeh Ahmadi: “The court has fired his lawyers. They don’t allow his lawyers to enter the courts. They are treating my child unfairly. They have interrogated him without an attorney present. And in that very first session of the court, they have sentenced him to death. Is this Islamic justice? In what court do they issue an execution sentence in the first session? And they want to execute the sentence equally quickly? Please, please, help and support us.”

Meanwhile, Iranian courts have sentenced professional soccer player Amir Nasr Azadani to 26 years in prison, and activist Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to five years, though her lawyer says the verdict is “not final.”

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