Protestor allegedly on death row


Published in “Die ZEIT”, October 8 2009
Source: ZEIT ONLINE, Reuters
In Iran, a verdict of death penalty has allegedly for the first time been issued against a participant in the protests of June. Many opposition members are still in prison.

Without indicating sources, the Iranian reformist website mowjcamp reported on Thursday that a death sentence has been issued in one of the proceedings against protestors who had taken to the streets in their hundreds of thousands four months ago to demonstrate against the electoral fraud.
The convict, Mohammad Reza Al-Samani, had been notified about his verdict by a judge. Al-Samani reportedly is a member of a pro-monarchist group.

The authorities did not comment on the report. In August, the semi-official news agency Mehr had announced that Al-Samani was charged with revolting against the Islamic system and participating in a terrorist group. In Iran, convicts on death row can lodge an appeal against their verdicts.

After the presidential elections in June, the heaviest unrests after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 broke out. Several people have died. The government denied allegations of electoral fraud and violently cracked down on the protestors. More than 100 supporters of the opposition are still in prison.

Already in early September, prosecutors had in a show trial threatened to put 160 convicted protestors on death row. At that time, though, the spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, spoke out against such an approach. As he said then: “I do not accuse the leaders of the recent incidents to be henchmen of countries like USA or the UK, because this is not proven to me”.


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