Iran Issues First Death Sentence Linked to Feminist Uprising

An unnamed individual has been sentenced to execution for "corruption on Earth" after setting fire to a government building amid the country's ongoing protests.

Iran Issues First Death Sentence Linked to Feminist Uprising
Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on October 1. Photo:AP

On Sunday, the Revolutionary Court in Tehran issued the first known death sentence to a person involved in Iran’s ongoing uprisings, Al Jazeera reports. The unnamed individual, who set fire to a government building, is being charged with “‘disturbing public order and collusion for committing crimes against national security’ in addition to ‘moharebeh’ (waging war against God) and ‘corruption on Earth,’” the Iranian judiciary stated. Five other people described as “rioters” were charged with prison sentences ranging from five to 10 years for threatening national security. The state news agency IRNA claimed the decisions are preliminary and can allegedly be appealed, according to CNN.

Civil unrest erupted across Iran after the unjust death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was taken in by the country’s morality police for wearing her hijab “improperly” in September and then died in their custody. Hundreds of protests have since erupted throughout the country—many led by women and the youth—demanding the overthrow of the current oppressive regime.

Over the last 57 days of demonstrations, retaliation by security forces has been violent and deadly, killing at least 326 people—including 43 children and spanning 22 provinces—according to Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO). Earlier this month at least 1,000 people in Tehran were slated to face public trial for their involvement in the uprisings, in addition to hundreds of others across the country.

The death sentence follows a recent motion by the Iranian Parliament asking the Iranian judiciary to deal with protesters more stringently. During parliament’s session last week, they called on the judiciary to “deal decisively with the perpetrators of these crimes [the protests] and with all those who assisted in the crimes and provoked rioters,” according to Al Jazeera. Of the 290 members of Parliament, 272 voted to “implement the death penalty for serious crimes against the state,” the Guardian reports.

Amini’s death has sparked the largest civil demonstrations the country has seen in the 40 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. But even as the arrests continue and the consequences for protesting become more dire—with IHRNGO reporting that “at least 20 additional protesters are facing charges punishable by death”—the fight for justice continues.

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