Faces of death row: the young men caught up in Iran’s execution spree

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Since anti-regime demonstrations erupted following the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, Iranian authorities have executed four young men and sentenced several others to death on charges relating to the protest movement. FRANCE 24 profiles some of the people executed or on death row in Iran’s latest state-sponsored killing spree.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has long been one of the world’s top executioners, but in recent months, the number of death sentences handed and carried out have triggered warnings that the state is “weaponising” the death penalty to crush dissent.

In a press release published January 10, 2023, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk noted that criminal proceedings and the death penalty were being “weaponised by the Iranian Government to punish individuals participating in protests and to strike fear into the population so as to stamp out dissent, in violation of international human rights law”.

Between December 8, 2022 and January 7, 2023, four young people were executed on capital charges in connection with their participation in the protest movement sparked by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini in custody.

Amini, 22, was arrested in Tehran by Iran’s morality police for improperly wearing her hijab. Iranian authorities claim she died of an illness, her family says she died from blows sustained during detention.

Shekari was hanged on December 8 in great secrecy, less than three months after his arrest.


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