Following enormous demonstrations caused by the death of a young woman in detention, Iran hanged two men on Saturday for the murder of a paramilitary force member.
The most recent hangings bring the total number of executions since the statewide demonstrations began in mid-September and escalated into demands for the overthrow of Iran’s clerical rule to four. In December, two individuals were executed, resulting in widespread anger and fresh Western sanctions against Iran.
According to the official media organization of the judiciary, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini were put to death in the early hours of Saturday, days after the nation’s Supreme Court upheld their sentences for “corruption on Earth.”
When significant protests broke out in the city of Karaj, which is close to Tehran, on November 3, Karami and Hosseini were charged with killing Ruhollah Ajamian.
Ajamian was seen in videos posted to social media that day lying motionless on the ground while donning a Basij uniform and a prominent highway was blocked off by large groups of people. 16 persons were detained for his killing, according to the judiciary, with Karami and Hosseini being the major suspects.
The judiciary played clips from their court proceedings, during which Karami claimed he hit Ajamian with a rock and Hosseini claimed to have stabbed him repeatedly with a knife.
The judiciary site reportedly made available videos that showed the two men engaged in the conduct. It also published a photo of Hosseini, who was depicted seated with his hands behind his back and holding several knives that he supposedly had in front of him. The hangings on Saturday raise the total number of executions since the protests to four. On top of claims that the admissions were coerced, the most recent executions have taken place.
The reaction to the executions
On Saturday, the European Union and the United Nations both denounced the most recent killings in Iran.
In a tweet, the UN rights office expressed its “deploration” for the executions and urged Iran to stop all executions. They conducted “unfair trials based on forced confessions,” it was claimed.
“It’s shocking that Iran continues to execute protesters despite international outcry,” the office stated.
In response, the Iranian ambassador will be summoned, according to a tweet from the foreign minister of the Netherlands, Wopke Hoekstra.
“(I am) appalled by the horrible executions of demonstrators in Iran,” Hoekstra posted on Twitter.