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HomeBreaking NewsProtesting for Women's Rights: The Faces of Death Row in Iran

Protesting for Women’s Rights: The Faces of Death Row in Iran

'Quick read' news summary

They were arrested at night. Or on their way to work. Or they simply disappeared. Since the beginning of the protests against the Islamic Republic four months ago, more than 19,000 people have been arrested in Iran, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). Sometimes, several days pass before families learn what happened with their loved ones. But often, they hear nothing at all.

There are reports of torture and of long prison sentences following show trials in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Courts. The proceedings move quickly; the charges are usually trumped up. Defense attorneys are seldom allowed. The court consists of a loyalist judge and confessions delivered under torture are taken at face value. Defendants sometimes turn up to their trials with broken ribs, arms or legs. One man had to be taken to a hospital instead of jail after the first interrogation.

On November 1, the first death sentence connected to the protests was handed down to Mohsen Shekari. He was hanged five weeks after being convicted. The family of the 23-year-old reportedly only learned of his death after his execution.

Since then, more and more names are circulating of Iranians who have been accused and convicted of “enmity against God” (“moharebe”), or “corruption on Earth,” both of which frequently carry the death penalty. Usually, the charges are connected to violence against members of the security forces or rioting during the protests. Often, though, it is enough for a demonstrator simply to have been present or to have expressed solidarity with the protests on the internet.

Protesters in Istanbul in December marching in opposition to the death penalty in Iran.

It is unclear how many people have thus far been sentenced to

They were arrested at night. Since the beginning of the protests against the Islamic Republic four months ago, more than 19,000 people have been arrested in Iran, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). There are reports of torture and of long prison sentences following show trials in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Courts.

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