Iran Human RightsIran’s Radicalized Protests and the Futility of Death Sentences

Iran’s Radicalized Protests and the Futility of Death Sentences

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The Iranian regime has started the execution of arrested protesters. On December 8 they executed Mohsen Shakari on charges of Morharebeh (waging war against God) then on December 12 they executed Majidreza Rahnavard on the same charge.

On June 22, before the outbreak of this round of protests the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei while aware of sitting on an erupting volcano warned in his speech to the people, that the “God of the 80th is the same God as of 2021.”

He refers to the dark decade in which the regime’s founder Khomeini tortured and executed with free rein any opposing voice to establish an inhuman, theocratic, and medieval regime.

In a mere chimera, he thought that he and his evil regime can repeat the same cruelty as in the past especially something like the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.

Former henchman who is now playing the role of managing editor of Kayhan, the mouthpiece of Khamenei expressed his fear and anger about the people and suggested to the judiciary that, “judiciary should deal with rioters without any fear; It is expected that the judicial system will not be influenced by the atmosphere created by the enemies of the revolution and will implement the Islamic ruling without any worries or fears.”

Then some of the regime’s media like the Jahan News warned that “[Mohsen] Shekari is not the first and will be not the last person to be executed because of the recent riots. The law obliges the judiciary to sentence all the perpetrators of these murders to retribution.”

But the execution of Shekari created a huge crisis within the regime, especially in its judiciary system. Khamenei and his henchmen faced many objections from all ranks.

Even some of the clerics criticized the government. Naturally, this was because of their fear of the people’s reactions, and not because of their compassion for the arrested.

They said that condemning the protesters because of moharebeh is a huge and dangerous mistake. The controversy over this subject reflects a deep gap within the regime’s ruling body. They are criticizing a regime that will not survive even one day without repression and execution.

With the execution of Majidreza Rahnavard, the wave of domestic and international opposition intensified. The reflection of these oppositions spilled into the regime even more than the first execution.

While Khamenei expected that the executions will reduce tensions within his regime, he got the opposite result. Now, in addition to questioning moharebeh. They ask the officials why they did not follow the judicial procedure in the case of these two young men. Why such haste in hanging?

The state-run daily Setareh-e Sobh while quoting Nemat Ahmadi, a lawyer wrote: “The question is, how did it take 19 days from the time the court issued Mohsen Shekhari’s sentence and until the sentence was executed?

“The convict had 20 days to appeal. If we leave aside the substantive debates such as the punishment of moharebeh or the application of moharebeh, how can we digest the discussion of judicial procedure in this case?

“I wonder how the head of the judiciary gave the permission to execute the sentence when the judicial procedure has not been done. No one can change or violate the laws of the judiciary.”

Other regime insiders told Khamenei and his bloodthirsty judiciary that you cannot put down ‘protests and social movements‘ by execution because the reasons will be not eradicated in such a way and are still present.

Mohammad Taghi Fazel Meybodi, member of the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qom Seminary and Professor of Mofid College of Qom said:

“Every protest and every social movement have an origin that must be eliminated. I believe that one of the problems of society that causes these protests are economic problems. Otherwise, a young person is not sick to shout in the street and put himself in danger.”

Some voices in the government and its periphery refer to the criminal laws of the regime and raised the issue that Mohsen Shekari should not be convicted because of moharebeh, while he carried a weapon not to scare the people but the regime.

Beyond that, while attacking Khamenei’s decision, they intend to clarify to him that it was not the right time to implement such a decision.

Khamenei tries to mock and play the role of Khomeini in repressing the people with harsh sentences and execution. But now after the implementation of two death sentences, he has not only reached this goal, but he is facing a more radical society.

With the continuation of the protests, he has been brought to his knees. If the nationwide uprising was settled by the execution of these two young men, they would not face a new round of uprising after the bloody suppression in November 2018.

What Khamenei and his followers are not considering, is the people’s decision to overthrow the regime and realize and new revolution. This revolution has had ups and downs, but its leaps have prevented it from reversal to the situation before September 16.

People are realizing that this regime understands only the language of force so some of the regime’s officials are warning that next time they will face armed people.

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