Iran sentences 400 people to up to 10 years in prison for protesting

Courts in the Iranian capital of Tehran and surrounding provinces jailed 400 people on Tuesday in connection with recent anti-government protests, The Guardian reported. Described as “rioters” in official rulings, the convicted protesters received extreme sentences.

“One hundred and sixty people were sentenced to five to 10 years in prison, 80 people to two to five years and 160 people to up to two years,” Tehran Judiciary Chief Ali Alghasi-Mehr said, quoted by regional Mizan news agency, for The Guardian.

Another 70 people were fined, the BBC reported.

Nationwide protests erupted after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested on 13 September for allegedly failing to wear the hijab properly, died in custody. Witnesses said she had been beaten by officials, sparking outrage against the Islamic Republic’s religious laws, “morality police” and treatment of women.

Since then, 490 protesters, including 68 children and 62 security personnel, have been killed, the Human Rights Activists News Agency said. Of the more than 18,200 people arrested in connection with these protests, only 3,780 have been publicly identified.

Iranian officials said in early November that 1,024 people in Tehran were accused of anti-government protests. The detainees had allegedly committed “acts of sabotage,” including “assaulting or martyring guards” and “set fire to public property,” officials said.

The Iranian government has cracked down on civil unrest.

The Iranian government has cracked down on civil unrest.

The Iranian government has cracked down on civil unrest.

Tuesday’s sentences came a day after the government publicly hanged Majidreza Rahnavard, a 23-year-old convicted less than two weeks ago of “enmity against God” for allegedly stabbing two members of the pro-government Basij resistance force.

Last month, Tehran’s Revolutionary Court recognized Mohsen Shekari, 23, himself. He was executed last week.

Amnesty International told the BBC that Rahnavard’s execution was “a tool of repression” to “spread fear” among potential protesters and that his trial was a farce. The group also said it had identified at least 20 other people at serious risk of imminent execution.

Eleven of these people have already been sentenced to death. Three have been tried and are awaiting the death sentence or have already received it. The other six, including 26-year-old Iranian footballer Amir Reza Nasr Azadani, are awaiting trial.

The global footballers’ union FIFPRO “is shocked and disgusted by reports that professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani faces execution in Iran after campaigning for women’s rights and fundamental freedoms in his country,” the organization tweeted.

“We stand in solidarity with Amir and demand the immediate removal of his punishment,” the group added.

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