Two young demonstrators have already been executed by the Iranian regime, and many more could follow. The tough approach is intended to stop further protests and cause fear in the country. The executions are condemned worldwide, and German politicians are also involved.
Last week, the first execution of an Iranian demonstrator caused horror around the world. Now the mullah regime carried out another death penalty. 23-year-old Majidreza Rahnavard was publicly hanged on Monday.
Rahnavard was convicted of allegedly stabbing to death two members of the Baij, a paramilitary organization commanded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The accusation was: “Moharabeh” – “War against God”. That’s the death penalty.
Activists warn that many more executions could follow. Amnesty International believes 20 people may face the death penalty in connection with the protests. At least 480 people have been killed in the protests and over 18,000 have been arrested.
Anyone who is accused of being involved in the “war against God” has no chance of a fair trial. Sharia, Islamic law, which refers to the Koran, among other things, applies in Iran and was introduced after the mullahs took power. One god (Allah) is the only lawgiver here, many laws refer to religious texts and are extremely conservative. Defendants are often not entitled to a lawyer of their own choice or to a full hearing of evidence, let alone a review of the verdict.
The Iranian daily Etemad published an interview with Mashallah Karami on Monday. His son Medhi was also sentenced to death. He is said to have also murdered a Baij soldier.
But Mashallah Karami laments the unfair conditions during the trial. The family lawyer is said to have been denied access to the files. However, the court-appointed lawyer refused to speak to the family about Mehdi. The trials are orchestrated show trials. Many of the accused would only give their confessions under torture.
The lucky ones can leave the prison after paying bail, but many cannot afford it. For example, 15-year-old Amir Hossein Rahimi was arrested for taking part in a demonstration and was shot at. His family cannot pay the bail of 11,500 euros. He was being tortured and the shot had not been removed from his body even after two months, reports the “Bild”. The teenager now also faces the death penalty by hanging.
Diana Eltahawy, Middle East and North Africa researcher at Amnesty International, said the executions reveal the “true character” of the Iranian judiciary. “This justice is a means of oppression. It sends people to the gallows to spread fear and exact revenge on those who dare to resist the social order.”
The EU reacted promptly to the executions. In a letter, the foreign ministers called on the mullahs’ regime to stop the cruel crackdown on peaceful demonstrators. Sanctions were also imposed on some 20 leading figures in the regime. They were banned from entering the country and their accounts in the EU were frozen.
In Germany, too, numerous politicians are showing solidarity with the protest movement. More and more are taking on sponsorships for imprisoned Iranians who are threatened with the death penalty. The action includes the Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke), Vice President of the German Bundestag, Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Die Grünen), and the CDU member of the Bundestag Katja Leikert.
The sponsorship is intended to reveal the actions of the Iranian regime and at the same time exert pressure. Goering-Eckart explained on Twitter that she had taken on the sponsorship of Parham Parvari. The 25-year-old is a successful swimmer and was kidnapped by the government in Tehran in October and sentenced to death.
The journalist Gilda Sabehi, who follows the protests in Iran, sees the initiative as an opportunity. “This commitment is seen in Iran,” she wrote on Twitter. Iranian activist Mina Khani also welcomed the sponsorships. Many messages from Iranians would reach them every day. “They eagerly await that we convey more.”