Political unrest in Iran has not ceased since the police-custody death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old lawyer who was arrested by Iranian morality police for “improperly” wearing her hijab.
Amini’s death sparked protests across the country which have been marked by unprecedented rebellion against the Iranian theocracy. At the forefront of the protests have been fearless women who are risking and losing their lives through protests and acts of defiance, cutting their hair and removing their hijabs.
The violence of Iranian armed forces has claimed hundreds of lives, and the uprisings have resulted in thousands of arrests.
On Saturday, Mohammad Mehdi Karami, 22, and Mohammad Hosseini, 39, were hanged in Iran after being charged with killing Seyed Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the country’s Basij paramilitary force. The two men allegedly took part in anti-regime protests last year. One of them was a karate champion, the other a volunteer children’s coach.
The executions have been met with international outrage and the men’s short, covert trials have been condemned as illegitimate and unjust. Amnesty International described them as “sham trials” which “bore no resemblance to a meaningful judicial proceeding” and relied on “‘confessions’ extracted under torture.”
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Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, a lawyer advocating for Mohammad Mehdi Karami, said on Twitter that Karami was prohibited from seeing his family before he was killed.
Iranian officials and media state that around 40 protesters have been sentenced to death in recent months, but CNN reports that the number could be much higher.
The European Union (EU) has addressed the executions by summoning the Iranian Ambassador to the EU. Stefano Sannino, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, reiterated to the Ambassador “the European’s strong appalment over the execution[s]” and called on Iranian authorities to immediately stop imposing and carrying out death sentences as well as annul recent death sentences and provide fair trial to all detainees. Many feel that the international community is not doing enough to prevent the atrocities being committed by the Iranian state.
Hadja Lahbib, a Belgian government official, stated via Twitter that “new EU sanctions are on the table.” The Belgian Ministry of foreign affairs has reposted Habib’s tweet.
Horrified by the execution of two more Iranian citizens in the context of the ongoing protests. Belgium has a principled stance against capital punishment. Together with like minded EU member states, we will summon the Iranian ambassador. New EU-sanctions are on the table.
— Hadja Lahbib (@hadjalahbib) January 8, 2023
In the meanwhile, Iranian protesters are not giving up, and deserve as much staunch and tangible support from states around the globe as possible.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: 80,000 people from all over Europe protesting in Berlin, Germany. Featured Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.