In Iran, a second demonstrator was executed in the course of the system-critical protests. Majid-Reza R., accused of "waging war against God", was publicly hanged on Monday in the city of Mashad in the north-east of the country, the judicial authority confirmed on its news portal Mizan.
The man is said to have murdered two members of the notorious paramilitary Basij militia with a knife during protests in November. The court had accused him of "waging war against God" and sentenced him to death in accordance with Islamic legal opinion.
Charged, convicted and executed within 26 days
According to information on Mizan, 23-year-old Majid-Resa R. was arrested on November 17. Within 26 days he was tried, sentenced to death and executed. According to online reports, he had no legal assistance. In addition to killing the two militia members, he is said to have injured four others.
News of the execution sparked outrage and anger across Iran. "Whoever sows the wind will reap the storm" or "We will avenge the blood of the innocent" were angry reactions from system opponents on social media. The pro-government daily Resalat, on the other hand, wrote: "A pardon is good, but justice is more important in Islam."
Report: Another execution postponed
According to media reports, another execution has been postponed for the time being. Mahan S., who was also convicted of "waging war against God", was to be hanged on Sunday in the Rajah Shahr prison west of the capital Tehran. The 23-year-old allegedly stabbed a Basij member and set his motorcycle on fire during the protests.
The "Basijis", voluntary militias of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, are used in Iran, among other things, to suppress protests. They are considered the system's most loyal supporters, and are said to be willing to sacrifice their lives as martyrs. According to eyewitnesses, the Basijis also acted extremely brutally against the demonstrators during the most recent protests. Therefore, the anger and aggression of the demonstrators is directed in particular at the Basij militias. Basidchis are said to be among the police and security forces who have died in connection with the demonstrations over the past ten weeks.
Moderate circles in the country are warning of a further escalation and are calling for new elections, among other things, to end the political crisis in the country peacefully. For them, President Ebrahim Raisi, his government and the hardliners in parliament and the judiciary are no longer acceptable. According to observers, however, after the execution of the second demonstrator and the expected execution of further death sentences, such an option is becoming a distant prospect.
EU sanctions target those responsible for executions
According to Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the planned new EU sanctions against Iran should affect those responsible for the most recent executions. The sanctions package is aimed in particular at those responsible for "these incredible crimes," said the Green politician on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting with her EU counterparts in Brussels. These are the Revolutionary Guards in particular, but also those who try to intimidate or further punish people with violent videos.
Baerbock described the executions as an open attempt to intimidate people who took their opinions to the streets. They took place without a fair trial.
At least 25 protesters on the death list
Last Thursday, a demonstrator was executed for the first time since the system-critical mass protests began. the rap musician Mohsen S. is said to have attacked a Basij member with a gun, causing terror and blocking a road. His execution was sharply condemned at home and abroad. According to media reports, at least 25 demonstrators are on the Iranian judiciary's death list.
The trigger for the nationwide protests was the death of the Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini. She died in police custody on September 16 after being arrested by the Morality Police for breaking the Islamic dress code. According to human rights activists, more than 475 demonstrators have been killed in the meantime, and the judiciary is also taking a tough line against protesters. They are repeatedly referred to by the state leadership as terrorists or riot mongers.