Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini were executed by hanging early Saturday Swedish time, according to a statement from the judiciary to the Iranian state news agency Irna, reports Reuters.
The men are said to have been convicted of murdering a member of the so-called Basij militia, which is subordinate to the Revolutionary Guard, in connection with regime-critical protests in November last year.
Want to discourage
A total of four people have now been executed in connection with the protests that have been ongoing in Iran since September 2022.
– There is a great risk that we will see more executions in the near future. It is a political signal with the aim of deterring, says Maja Åberg, expert at Amnesty Sweden.
In December, the organization carried out a so-called lightning operation to draw attention to the fact that at least 26 people in Iran are at great risk of being executed shortly due to the protests of the last few months.
Both Karami and Hosseini were on that list – and for the other 24 people, the risk is still high, according to Amnesty.
Common to all people sentenced to death in connection with the protests is that they did not receive fair trials, the human rights organization states.
– They have been pure mock trials. In this case, there is reason to believe that they were variously pressured, beaten and tortured into confessing. It is really not possible to say that these people have received a fair trial, says Maja Åberg.
Whether the death penalty actually leads to fewer people demonstrating is questionable.
– So far, the prostheses have continued despite the executions – based on what we have seen so far, there is no reason to believe that the authorities would succeed in this, says Maja Åberg.
The EU condemns the executions
On Saturday, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell spoke out – condemning the Iranian regime’s violence against protesters.
– The EU is appalled by the executions of Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini who were arrested and sentenced in connection with the ongoing demonstrations in Iran, Borrell says.