The death sentences of three men were carried out in Iran on Friday: Majid Kazemi, 30, Saleh Mirhashemi, 36, and Saeed Yaqoubi, 37. The three had been arrested and convicted for participating in a protest against the government on November 16 in Isfahan during which a policeman and two members of the Basij, the paramilitaries also known as “guarantors of morality”, were killed. The crime for which Kazemi, Mirhashemi and Yaquobi were convicted is called moharebeh, which in Farsi (the Iranian language) means more or less “to wage war on God”, or “enmity against God”: the Iranian regime has been using it for decades to maintain authoritarian control over the population, and it is the same for which hundreds of people were sentenced to death for the protests in the country that began last September, after the death of Mahsa Amini.
According to testimonies collected by the international organization for the protection of human rights Amnesty International, the three would have been sentenced without a fair trial, tortured and forced to confess to the crimes they were accused of. They are the first people sentenced to death by the Iranian regime for crimes related to protests in the country in four months, the last two such sentences having been carried out on 7 January. The United Nations recently expressed concern over the number of people sentenced to death this year in Iran, which would be more than 200, mainly for crimes related to drug use or drug dealing.