Iran hanged two males Monday convicted of blasphemy, authorities stated, finishing up uncommon demise sentences for the crime as executions surge throughout the Islamic Republic following months of unrest.
Iran stays one of many world’s prime executioners, having put to demise at the very least 203 prisoners for the reason that begin of this 12 months alone, in response to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights. However finishing up executions for blasphemy stays uncommon, as earlier circumstances noticed the sentences diminished by authorities.
The 2 males executed, Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare, died at Arak Jail in central Iran. They’d been arrested in Could 2020, accused of being concerned in a channel on the Telegram message app referred to as “Critique of Superstition and Faith,” in response to the U.S. Fee on Worldwide Spiritual Freedom. Each males confronted months of solitary confinement and couldn’t contact their households, the fee stated.
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The Mizan news company of Iran’s judiciary confirmed the executions, describing the 2 males as having insulted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and promoted atheism. Mizan additionally accused them of burning a Quran, Islam’s holy ebook, although it wasn’t clear whether or not the boys allegedly did that or such imagery was shared within the Telegram channel.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, who leads Iran Human Rights, decried the executions as exposing the “medieval nature” of Iran’s theocracy.
“The worldwide group should present with its response that executions for expressing an opinion is insupportable,” he stated in an announcement. “The refusal of the worldwide group to react decisively is a inexperienced mild for the Iranian authorities and all their like-minded folks across the world.”
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It wasn’t instantly clear when Iran carried out its final execution for blasphemy. Different international locations within the Center East, like Saudi Arabia, additionally permit for demise sentences to be imposed for blasphemy.
The streak of executions, together with members of ethnic minority teams in Iran, comes as monthslong protests over the September demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the nation’s morality police have cooled. Already, at the very least 4 folks charged over alleged crimes from the demonstrations have been put to demise. The protests, which reportedly noticed over 500 folks killed and 19,000 others arrested, marked one of many greatest challenges to Iran’s theocracy for the reason that 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In 2022, Iran executed at the very least 582 folks, up from 333 folks in 2021, in response to Iran Human Rights. Amnesty Worldwide’s most-recent report on executions put Iran because the world’s second-largest executioner, behind solely China, the place 1000’s are believed to be put to demise a 12 months.
Whereas some executions are publicized, others aren’t in Iran.
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Human Rights Activists in Iran, one other group monitoring the Islamic Republic, warned final week concerning the “alarming surge” in executions. Many have been for drug-related offenses, however there even have been executions of a British-Iranian accused of spying and one other of a Swedish-Iranian convicted of masterminding a 2018 assault on a navy parade that killed at the very least 25.
A German-Iranian who lives in California, Jamshid Sharmahd, additionally faces a looming execution as tensions stay excessive between Tehran and the West over its accelerating nuclear program.
“Iranian authorities have an absolute obligation to uphold worldwide human rights requirements and as an alternative, there’s ongoing impunity for grave violations of the appropriate to life — and extra,” stated Skylar Thompson, the pinnacle of worldwide advocacy and accountability on the group.