Against the backdrop of the Iranian regime's inability to put down the civil protests against it that have been continuing for three months, Iranian regime authorities have begun executing young protestors. A December 9, 2022 op-ed titled "The Terrorists' Commotion About Lawful Punishment" in the online daily Javan, which is affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), defended the regime's decision to execute imprisoned protestors. It also warned of many more executions of detained protestors and of punishment for Iranian celebrities who express support for them.
The first to be executed, Mohsen Shekari, 23, had been charged with injuring a security forces member and of blocking a road. Following the public hanging of another young man, Majid Reza Rahnavard, also 23 and charged with murdering two Basij members a month previously, protests in Iran and in the West spiked.
The op-ed's author, Javan social affairs desk secretary Mohammad Sadegh Faghfoori, who is also a doctoral student in law at Tehran University and was previously secretary of the social affairs desk at the Kayhan daily, justified the death sentences for the protestors since they were guilty of moharebeh – that is, "waging war against God." Faghfoori wrote that they had received a fair trial according to shari'a and Iranian law, and added that the intent to attack people and property was enough to warrant a death sentence. Furthermore, he said that public morale had been harmed by their actions – also a serious crime – and announced that celebrities who express support for the protestors would be severely punished and that fame would not protect anyone from punishment.
Clarifying that the regime intended to execute at least 60 people, or even more, because "over 60 security forces members were murdered," he added that "in such cases several people will hang because the murder of these defenders of security was caused by collective action."
Protestor Mohammad Ghobadlo, 22, who was tried without legal representation and sentenced to death (Source: Iranwire.com/en/politics/109191-is-this-islamic-justice-mother-decries-sons-death-sentence, October 31, 2022)
Iranian and foreign media reported that the detainees, including academics, students, and teens, have been subjected to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse in prison in an effort to force them to confess to harming members of regime security forces, disturbing public order, and damaging property. Authorized lists of the young people sentenced to death are difficult to find; however, MEMRI has compiled a list of Iranian and foreign media sources that include the names of young people sentenced to death for protesting against the Iranian regime (see Appendix).
Majid Reza Rahnavard, hanged December 12, 2022 in Mashhad (Source: Iranwire.com/en/politics/111208-iranian-man-hanged-in-public-in-second-known-execution-linked-to-protests, December 12, 2022)
The following are the main points of the op-ed by Mohammad Sadegh Faghfoori titled "The Terrorists' Commotion About Lawful Punishment" in the Javan daily:
"The Terrorists' Commotion About Lawful Punishment"
"Online terrorists and the Western governments and London media that support them are making lots of noise against the legal punishments of rioters, using the 'Nodeathpenalty' hashtag – even though they themselves taught terrorism in their media and promised execution by hanging every [Iranian] official from a tree on Val-i Asr [a main street in Tehran]!
"The first to fight against God [i.e. armed protestor] in the rioting of the past three months was executed by hanging. Just as clear was the reason for the noise made by the hashtag users and by several celebrities who are selling out their homeland following this execution of Mohsen Shekari, [since] they are sensing more than ever the implementation of the law, and the respect that the judiciary gives to the demands of the public...
"With its judicial process and implementation of Shekari's sentence, the judiciary has proven that it will under no circumstances be beholden to the fringes [of society] and that its criteria for action is to implement the law without addressing the peripheral noise [in the media].
"A judicial precedent was set in the case of one rioter recently. According to the indictment released by the revolutionary court in Tehran, Mohsen Shekari was charged with armed crime, of drawing his weapon with intent to kill and spread terror and fear and to remove the public's freedom and safety, as well as of intentionally wounding with a cold weapon a security officer carrying out his duties, of obstructing Sattar Khan Street in Tehran, and of disrupting public order and safety. For these, he was sentenced to death by hanging. After the legal proceedings, the verdict was carried out, and Shekari was hanged on Thursday [December 8, 2022]...
Dr. Hamid Ghareh Hassanlou, sentenced to death, and his wife Farzane Ghareh Hassanlou, sentenced to 25 years in prison (Source: Iranhrs.org)
"The Executions Are Carried Out After Supreme Court Approval
"The Supreme Court decision stated: The appeal of the verdict filed by Mohsen Shekari's lawyer is not justified, because the criminal's actions, that is, his presence amidst a rioting crowd, his attempt to blockade the streets, his threatening of people with a cold weapon, and his tangling with security forces and injuring them with a cold weapon, are all [considered] armed crimes, and the sentencing on this matter was made in accordance with shari'a and judicial standards. It is therefore approved in accordance with Paragraph A of Section 469 of criminal law.
"What Does The Law Say?
"Shekari's actions meet the judicial definition of armed crime... Committing armed crime does not necessarily mean killing someone... Another point of the judicial definition is that an armed criminal must only intend to harm the lives, property, and honor of citizens, and not necessarily [actually] carry out an attack on their lives, property, or honor...
"The Punishments Are Coming
"Shekari is not the first to be sentenced to hang during the recent rioting, nor will he be the last. In the past three months, in addition to the damage to the property of many Iranians due to the rioting, there has also been irreparable damage to society's morale. If we want to add to this list the damage caused by the shuttering or slowdown of businesses due to the rioting, the crimes of the rioters, of those harming public safety, and of all those who caused these events become even graver.
"Furthermore, in the recent events, over 60 security forces members were murdered, and for each murder one or more murderers were responsible. Also, the manner in which some of these defenders of security were murdered was via a group of assailants – meaning that in such cases several people will hang because the murder of these defenders of security was caused by collective action... The law obligates the judiciary to sentence each of these perpetrators of murder to death...
Sahand Nur Muhammad Zadeh, 26, sentenced to death for disturbing public order (Source: Twitter.com/itsgoogoogaga/status/1600776608616677378)
"The Danger Facing Celebrities
"Several celebrities and online influencers have played a role in recent cases. They did not think that their incitement of chaos would be met with the people's opposition. Their mistaken ideas have now led them to again use hashtags and stories... Following the scandal of the enterprise of killing, disruption of public order, and strikes, these celebrities are sensing the threat of punishment more than ever. The crime of a few media terrorists and online terrorists is no less serious than that of the thugs in the street – and may be even more serious.
"The actions of the judiciary have proven that the fame of celebrities does not grant immunity... The judiciary's judgement and punishment of the perpetrators of recent events meet judicial standards, and are grounded in the imperative of [protecting] the citizens' rights. The noise made by some people following the hanging of Mohsen Shekari actually showed that the judiciary's proceedings are sound and in accordance with judicial standards. We will wait and see that the trials and sentencing of the rioters – [those] armed criminals and their accomplices – will compensate in part for the damage [they did] to Iran and the Iranians."
Mahan Sadrat-Marani, sentenced to death (Source: Iranhr.net/en/articles/5631, December 10, 2022)
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Appendix: Iranian And Foreign Media Report On Young People Sentenced To Death In Iran For Protesting Against The Regime
The following are reports about young people sentenced to death in Iran for protesting against the regime, from Iranian and foreign media.
"28 Iranians Sentenced To Death Over Nationwide Protests" – Iranwire.com
"Full list of Iranian Protesters Facing Death Sentences By Regime" – Newsweek.com
"Mahan Sadrat at Imminent Risk of Execution; Need for Urgent Action and International Campaign to Save Protesters" – Iran Human Rights
"Protester Majidreza Rahnavard Publicly Executed 23 Days After Arrest" – Iran Human Rights
"Six protesters accused of Corruption on Earth, War on God" – Iran Human Rights Monitor
"'Is this Islamic Justice?'– Mother Decries Son's Death Sentence" – Iranwire.com"
Hamid and Farzaneh Ghareh Hassanlou sentenced to death and prison" – Iran HRS
"Iran Tortures, Sexually Abuses Detained Protesters: Reports" – Iranintl.com
"Rapper Toomaj Salehi may face death penalty for Iran protests solidarity" – The Washington Post
"Majidreza Rahnavard: Iran carries out second execution over protests" – BBC News
"Evin Prison; Engineer Parham Parvari was accused of 'moharebeh' – Kurdpa.net
"Iran soccer player sentenced to death by hanging" – AS USA"
Saman Yasin, a Kermanshahi singer, is under pressure to confess | Kurdistan daily news"
Tweet: "1) Dozens could face execution in Iran due to the protest over the murder of #MahsaAmini. 15 are on trial in the city of Karaj, including three 17-year-old boys and these married couple, Farzaneh & her husband Hamid Ghare-Hasanlou, who is a medical doctor. They are innocent. https: //t.co/qZU79B2yds" – Masih Alinejad on Twitter
"Unnamed Iran Protester Sentenced to Death; Risk of Hasty Executions" – Iran Human Rights
Tweet: "# FarhadTahazadeh & # FarzadTahazadeh two brothers from Oshnavieh have been sentenced to death. @ HengawO has reported that their sentence is confirmed. Their lives are in danger. # StopExecutionInIran https:// t.co/oza5SGinRC" – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
"Four Baluch Men Secretly Executed in Zahedan" – Iran Human Rights
Tweet: "# SalehMirHashemi born in 1986, a Karate instructor in Isfahan, was arrested on Nov. 17, and continuously tortured to confess in a case where there is no evidence against him. They even arrested his father to increase the pressure on him to obtain false confessions on TV. (1/2) https: //t.co/dPSLj1r1Jn" – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
Tweet: "@1500tasvir_en @JasonMBrodsky https://t.co/4DtpB7qO1I" – Safdar_gholi on Twitter
Tweet: "#MahanSadrat still hasn't called since 3 nights ago and is in solitary confinement. His case was sent for execution and then was delayed for 48 hours. The 48 hours are up now and Mahan's life is extremely in danger. His sentence may be executed any minute. #StopExecutionInIran https: //t.co/SCPNFmptIM" – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
Tweet: "#MohamadBroghani has met his mother today and this adds to the concerns over the danger of his imminent execution. Mohamad's death sentence has been confirmed in the “Supreme Court.” Mohamad is only 19 years old and his precious life is in danger. #StopExecutionInIran https: //t.co/A4aqMcZX4t" – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
Tweet: "#MahanSadrat called friends every day from prison, but didn’t make any calls today. Some sources from inside Rajai Shahr Prison say he has been taken to solitary confinement. Mahan’s life in danger and he may be killed by the Islamic Republic any minute. #StopExecutionInIran https: //t.co/IFqckAV4SX" – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
Tweet: "Bodybuilding champion #SahandNourMohammadZadeh has been sentenced to death by the Islamic Republic. His life is in danger. We ask the international bodybuilding community to spread the word to help save his life PLEASE. @ Schwarzenegger @ TheRock @ danawhite # StopExecutionInIran https:// t.co/mj5rLDJ0hh" – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
Tweet: "Mohammad Mehdi Karami has told his family he has been under severe physical, sexual, and psychological torture. At the time of 'arrest' the Islamic Republic’s brutes beat him up so badly that he passes out and the brutes initially think they have killed him." – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
Tweet: "'Daddy our lovebird's nestling is born. I named it Liberty. Because liberty is your right and I know that you will be back.' Reza Arya's child wrote this for him. Reza is one of the 5 people the Islamic Republic has sentenced to death in the case in Karaj. # StopExecutionsInIran https: //t.co/zInw4cRWap" – 1500tasvir_en on Twitter
 Javan (Iran), December 9, 2022.
 Iranwire.com/en/politics/111118-28-iranians-sentenced-to-death-over-nationwide-protests, Decemer 10, 2022.
 Newsweek.com/full-list-iranian-protesters-facing-death-sentences-regime-1761311, November 22, 2022.
 Iranhr.net/en/articles/5631, December 10, 2022.
 Iranhr.net/en/articles/5634, December 12, 2022.
 Iran-hrm.com, October 30, 2022.
 Iranwire.com/en/politics/109191-is-this-islamic-justice-mother-decries-sons-death-sentence, October 31, 2022.
 Iranintl.com/en/202212108015, December 10, 2022.
 Washingtonpost.com/world/2022/11/30/iran-protests-rapper-toomaj-salehi-death-penalty, November 30, 2022.
 Bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-63939428, December 12, 2022.
 Kurdpa.net/en/news/evin-prison-engineer-parham-parvari-was-accused-of-moharebeh, November 15, 2022.
 En.as.com/soccer/iran-soccer-player-sentenced-to-death-by-hanging-n, December 12, 2022.
 Samuelkub.blogspot.com/2022/11/saman-yasin-kermanshahi-singer-is-under.html, November 30, 2022.
 Twitter.com/alinejadmasih/status/1600846326614196225, December 8, 2022.
 Iranhr.net/en/articles/5584, November 14, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1602802174882467842, December 13, 2022.
 Iranhr.net/en/articles/5622, December 5, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1602797710645526529, December 13, 2022.
 Twitter.com/safdar_gholi/status/1602836991615258625, December 13, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1602794336592199680, December 13, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1602792817268514817, December 13, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1601702970780880897, December 10, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1601986060837441541, December 11, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1601502730870460416, December 10, 2022.
 Twitter.com/1500tasvir_en/status/1601209180337352706, December 9, 2022.