Iran publicly hangs second protester

Iranian authorities have executed a second demonstrator for joining anti-government protests, the country’s judicial authority confirmed on its Mizan news portal.

Majidreza Rahnavard was publicly hanged after being sentenced to death for allegedly attacking security forces in Mashhad, in the north-east of the country.

The man allegedly murdered two members of the notorious Basij paramilitary militia with a knife during protests in November. The court had accused him of “waging war against God.”

According to Mizan, the 23-year-old had been arrested on November 17, within 26 days, he was charged, sentenced to death and executed in Mashhad without having legal counsel, according to other online reports.

News of the execution sparked outrage and anger across Iran. “He who sows the wind will reap the storm” and “We will avenge the blood of the innocent” were angry reactions from government opponents on social media.

Another execution was postponed for the time being, according to state media reports.

He was also convicted of “waging war against God” after allegedly injuring a Basij member with a knife and setting fire to his motorcycle during protests.

The man had been scheduled to be hanged on Sunday in Rajaei Shahr Prison west of the capital Tehran.

According to witness accounts, the Basij volunteer militia members have been used to brutally suppress protests as they are considered the most loyal supporters of the system and said to be willing to sacrifice their lives as martyrs.

Earlier, Iranian authorities executed rapper Mohsen Shekari. He had been accused by Iranian authorities of assaulting a security guard with a weapon, inciting terror and blocking a road.

Human rights activists estimate that at least 470 protesters have been killed and more than 18,000 arrested during the protests that have rocked the country since mid-September.

At least 25 protesters are reportedly on the Iranian judiciary’s death list, two of whom have now been executed.

The unrest was triggered by the death of an Iranian Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, on September 16. She died in police custody after being arrested for violating Islamic dress codes. (NAN)

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