Iran executes second person for participating in protests

Iran said today that it has executed the second detainee held in a wave of anti-government protests, the Iranian Judicial Authority’s Mizan news agency reported.

The executed man was identified as Majidreza Rahnavard, accused of stabbing to death two members of the security forces and wounding four on November 17 in Mashhad in the country’s northeast, Mizan added.

On Thursday, Iran executed the first detainee arrested in the demonstrations.

At least two dozen Iranian protesters face possible execution as a response by the authorities to their participation in the anti-government protests, according to a report published Saturday by local newspaper Etemad.

The publication disclosed a list drawn up by Iranian authorities in which 25 protesters are accused of “waging war against God,” a charge that under Iranian law is punishable by death.

On the list of 25 accused is ‘rapper’ Mohsen Shekari, the first protester to be executed, on Thursday morning, accused of assaulting a security guard with a gun, inciting terror, and blocking a highway.

Shekari’s death drew strong condemnation at home and abroad, although Iranian political leaders, including the President, Ebrahim Raisi, described the execution as a legitimate response to unrest across the country.

Protesters have threatened to act in response and have spread, on social media, the message, “wait for our revenge.” Meanwhile, internationally, the Iranian population has also announced new anti-government protests.

Iran has been the scene of protests since mid-September, when Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, died in police custody after being arrested for not wearing the veil properly and violating Islamic dress codes.

Since then, protests have been violently suppressed by the authorities, which gain new sanctions imposed by the international community for human rights issues.

However, Tehran considers that the majority of Iranians support the government and accuses enemies of the country and mercenaries of being behind the massive protests.

In nearly three months of protests, more than 500 people have died and at least 15,000 have been arrested, according to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Iran Human Rights.

For their part, Iranian authorities have estimated the number of deaths at 300, 50 of whom are members of the country’s security forces.

After almost three months of social unrest, the dissolution of the morality police, responsible for Amini’s arrest and death, was announced, but this announcement did not calm the situation.

But the disappearance of the patrols of that police force did not imply the end of the laws imposing the mandatory wearing of the veil and other strict social norms in the country.

Everything seems to indicate that they will only change the methods used to ensure compliance with these laws, whose infractions, such as “misuse of the hijab” [Islamic veil], will now be punished with fines and up to two months in prison.