Iranian state media reported that the Iranian authorities have sentenced five people to death for killing a member of a paramilitary force affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Eleven others were sentenced to prison terms.
The 13 men and three minors — none of whom have been identified — have been charged with the murder of Ruhollah Ajemian, a member of the Basij, a volunteer paramilitary branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, according to a report by the official IRNA news agency, on Tuesday.
The report said the alleged killing took place in Karaj, near Tehran, on November 12 when a group of men chased Ajamian with knives and stones and attacked them. The IRNA report refers to “troublemakers,” a term commonly used by the government to refer to protesters. There were anti-government demonstrations in the area at that time.
The rulings come amid months of anti-government demonstrations that have been violently suppressed by Iranian security forces. The protests, now in their third month, erupted after the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mohsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. Demonstrations have escalated since then to demand the fall of Iran’s clerical rulers, posing one of the most serious challenges facing the Iranian theocracy since the 1979 revolution.
Iran’s Revolutionary Court charged the five who were sentenced to death on Monday. The report stated that the Iranian Criminal Court had charged three boys. The judiciary spokesperson, Masoud Staishi, who was mentioned in the report, did not provide any evidence to support any of the accusations.
IRNA said their sentences – the longest of which is 25 years – could be appealed.
The Iranian Revolutionary Court regularly issues death sentences. The court was established after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. According to Amnesty International, Iran executed at least 314 people in 2021, more than half of all executions the country carried out across the Middle East that year.
Last week, the Iranian authorities executed four people they accused of working for the Israeli Mossad. It did not provide any evidence to the public of the alleged crimes committed by the four men.
Also on Tuesday, the semi-official state news agency, Tasnim, said authorities had arrested 12 people they accused of having links with “counter-revolutionary” foreign agents in Germany and the Netherlands.
According to a statement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was reported by Tasnim, the group was planning to purchase weapons and act against the country’s security. and he did not mention any further details.
Iran regularly arrests and convicts people on espionage charges and accuses Western countries of leading the protests. So far, at least 473 people have been killed and 18,200 others arrested in the demonstrations and ensuing crackdown by security forces, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that monitors the demonstrations.
Tuesday is also the second day of a Three days of national strike The protesters called for it. In posts circulating on social media, the demonstrators called on businesses to close their doors and called on people to stop using banks. The level of participation was not clear, but in the northern neighborhoods of Tehran, most shops were closed on Tuesday afternoon and there was a heavy security presence.
Iran’s chief judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Eje, on Monday ordered the arrest of anyone who encourages the strike or tries to intimidate shops into closing. According to Tasneem, authorities in the southern city of Shiraz closed down a pharmacy after it reportedly refused to sell items to patients on Monday.
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