Iran executed two men on Saturday, according to state-run Fars News, bringing the total number of people executed in connection with the protests that have gripped the country since September to four.
They were Mohammed Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini hanged early Saturday morning, Fars News reported. The pair, who allegedly took part in anti-regime protests last year, were convicted of killing Seyed Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the country’s Basij paramilitary force, in Karaj on November 3, according to Iran’s Mizan judicial news agency.
Mohammad Hossein Agassi, a lawyer representing Karami, tweeted on Saturday that Karami had not been granted final rights to speak with his family before his execution. The lawyer added that Karami went on a dry food hunger strike on Wednesday as a form of protest against officials not allowing Agassi to represent him.
In December, Karami’s parents took to social media to plead for his life. “Please, please, remove the execution order from my son’s file,” said the father of the 21-year-old karate champion.
Another 41 protesters have been sentenced to death in Iran, according to statements from both Iranian officials and Iranian media reviewed by CNN and 1500Tasvir, but the number could be much higher.
Meanwhile, the political editor of the independent Iranian newspaper Etemad Online, Mehdi Beik, was detained on Thursday, according to a tweet by the publication. The arrest came amid a crackdown by Iranian authorities following protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last year after she was arrested by the state’s morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly. Since then, protests have coalesced around a range of grievances against the authoritarian regime.
Beik was detained by officials of Iran’s Ministry of Information, his wife Zahra Beik said on Friday.
He was arrested after “interviewing the families of several of those arrested in the ongoing demonstrations,” according to pro-reform IranWire.
“The journalist’s cell phone, laptop and belongings were confiscated,” his wife tweeted. It is not yet clear why Baek was arrested.
Iranian authorities have previously arrested some individuals for their criticism of the government’s response to the demonstrations.
One of the most famous Iranian actresses, Tarane Aliduosti, was released on bail on Wednesday, state news agency ISNA said after she was released arrested following her criticism of the execution of a protester.
Known as a feminist activist, Aliduosti posted a photo on Instagram last month of herself without an Islamic hijab and holding a sign reading “Women, Life, Freedom” to show her support for the protest movement.
Aliduosti has not been formally charged but was initially arrested due to a “lack of evidence for her claims” in connection with her protest against the hanging of Mohsen Shekari last month in the first known protest-related execution.
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