Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of two people convicted of killing a security officer. Over the past three months, some 516 protesters have died while more than 19,000 people have been detained. Two French nationals and a Belgian have been arrested for espionage.
Tehran (AsiaNews) – Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against two protesters, found guilty in connection with the death of a security officer.
The officer was killed during protests triggered by the death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, after the morality police arrested her in mid-September for not properly covering her head.
The Supreme Court also ordered the retrial of three other defendants sentenced to death by a lower court.
As of 2 January, more than a hundred days since the start of the unrest, 516 people have died in the government crackdown, including 70 minors, the Human Rights Activists Agency (HRANA) reported.
The human rights group put the number of people arrested so far at 19,204, but it could be much higher since little is known about a number of people reported missing. Some 67 members of the security forces have also died during the protests.
A member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, also known as Pasdaran, is the latest casualty among government forces, killed outside his home, but robbery has not been ruled out.
Iranian courts have already sentenced 13 people to the gallows, two of which (Majidreza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari) have already been carried out; in four other cases, the Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence; in six others, it remanded the accused for a retrial.
Stopping protesters by executing some comes amid an escalation that began long before people took to the streets in the past few weeks.
Data from 2021 show that Iran executed 314 people, more than half of all deaths sentences carried out that year in the Middle East.
Iranian courts have also indicted two French nationals and a Belgian for espionage and working against Iran’s national security, semi-official Student News Network reported. Names and place of indictment are not known.
Since Mahsa Amini’s death, Iranian authorities have repeatedly accused the Islamic Republic’s enemies in Europe and the United States of being behind the wave of unrest.