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First official execution over anti-hijab protests carried out in Iran

Tehran: Iran carried out its first known execution Thursday over the protests that have shaken the regime since September, sparking international condemnation and warnings from rights groups that more hangings are imminent.

Mohsen Shekari, 23, was hanged on Thursday morning after being found guilty by a Revolutionary Court of “moharebeh” (enmity against God), according to reports by news agencies.

He was accused of being a “rioter” who blocked a main road in Tehran in September and wounded a member of a paramilitary force with a machete.

An activist also said he was convicted after a show trial and without any due process.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights said in a statement that the international community must react swiftly and strongly to this execution. He further mentioned that if not met with serious consequences, the government will start mass execution of the protesters.

A Revolutionary Court was told that Mohsen Shekari had blocked Tehran’s Sattar Khan Street on 25 September and used a machete to attack a member of the Basij Resistance Force, a volunteer paramilitary force often deployed to quell protests.

On 1 November, the court found Shekari guilty of fighting and drawing a weapon “with the intention of killing, causing terror and disturbing the order and security of society” and convicted him of “enmity against God”.

He appealed against the verdict, but it was upheld by the supreme court on 20 November.

British foreign minister James Cleverly said he was “outraged” by the news of the execution. “The world cannot turn a blind eye to the abhorrent violence committed by the Iranian regime against its own people,” Cleverly said on Twitter.

Germany also condemned the execution in Iran protests.

“The Iranian regime’s contempt for humanity knows no bounds,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “But the threat of execution will not stifle people’s will for freedom.”

Amnesty International has said Iranian authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people in what it called “sham trials designed to intimidate those participating in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran”.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately quash all death sentences, refrain from seeking the imposition of the death penalty and drop all charges against those arrested in connection with their peaceful participation in protests,” it said.

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