Iranian government vows to execute activists amid new wave of protests

Anti-government protests in Iran  (AP)
Anti-government protests in Iran (AP)

Iranians carried out a huge new wave of anti-government protests on Monday, despite the Islamic Republic vowing to impose the death penalty on those demonstrating.

The death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in September – after being detained by police in Tehran for allegedly not adhering to the Islamic dress code – continues to trigger widespread protests across the country.

Iranian businesses shut their doors in several cities as protesters took the streets amid calls for a three-day nationwide strike from Monday.

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Businesses in cities including Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz and Shiraz are believed to have been impacted.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of Iran’s judiciary, claimed that “rioters” were threatening shopkeepers to close their businesses.

He added that protesters who have been given the death penalty will soon be executed.

According to human rights charity Amnesty International, at least 28 people in Iran have so far been issued the death penalty for participating in the demonstrations, including three minors.

The Revolutionary Guards issued a statement praising the judiciary and calling on it to swiftly and decisively issue a judgement against "defendants accused of crimes against the security of the nation and Islam".

Security forces would show no mercy towards "rioters, thugs, terrorists", the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted the guards as saying.

Witnesses speaking to Reuters said riot police and the Basij militia had been heavily deployed in central Tehran.

It comes after Iran scrapped its morality police in reaction to protests following the death of Ms Amini.

Iran’s attorney general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying that “morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary” and have been abolished, according to the country’s semi-official media outlet ISNA.

He also said the Iranian parliament is considering changes to the law that makes it mandatory for women to wear a headscarf.

The comments – which have not been confirmed by the official state media – are a rare sign the Islamic theocracy is making concessions due to the protests.