EXECUTION VIDEO: MajidReza Rahnavard gets buried at grave on Block 66 of Behesht-e Reza cemetery after hanging him to death for murder KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Monday, December 12, 2022

EXECUTION VIDEO: MajidReza Rahnavard gets buried at grave on Block 66 of Behesht-e Reza cemetery after hanging him to death for murder

Four days after execution of Mohsen Shekari, the Islamic Republic on Monday morning publicly executed another protester, Majidreza Rahnavard, in the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran 23 days after his arrest on charge of stabbing two members of IRGC’s Basij force.

"They called his family and woke them up at 7 am, telling them 'we've hanged your son and buried him ourselves at Block 66 of Behesht-e Reza cemetery'," @1500tasvir reported.
Photos of Majidreza in custody showed a broken hand and wounds on his face in apparent signs of torture.

Majidreza Rahnavard, 23, was hanged "in public" early on Monday in the city of Mashhad, the judiciary announced.

A court convicted him of the charge of "enmity against God" after finding he had stabbed to death two members of the paramilitary Basij Resistance Force.

Human rights groups have warned that protesters are being sentenced to death after sham trials with no due process.

"Rahnavard was sentenced to death based on coerced confessions, after a grossly unfair process and a show trial. This crime must be met with serious consequences for the Islamic Republic," tweeted Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Norway-based Iran Human Rights.

"Thousands of detained protesters, and a dozen death sentences already issued. There is a serious risk of mass-execution of protesters," he added.

The first execution took place last Thursday, triggering international condemnation. Mohsen Shekari, 23, was convicted of "enmity against God" after being found to have attacked a Basij member with a machete in Tehran.

A video of Majidreza Rahnavard exercising in a gym, shared by @1500tasvir. 
Majidreza was publicly executed on Monday morning 23 days after his arrest.

The hanging took place despite domestic and international outcry over the execution of the first protester, Mohsen Shekari, on December 8.
Both executions are seen as acts of intimidation against protesters, especially Rahnavard’s hanging in public.

Rahnavard was hanged only 23 days after his arrest.

Mizan had previously reported that he was accused of stabbing to death two members of the Basij on a street in Mashhad on 17 November. The Basij is a volunteer force often deployed by Iranian authorities to suppress dissent.

Mashhad's governor alleged at the time that the stabbings took place after a group of "rioters" began "threatening shopkeepers" in an attempt to coerce them to close their shops. When Basij members approached the group, one suddenly attacked them with a knife, he added.

A video broadcast by state TV after his arrest on 19 November showed Rahnavard blindfolded and with his left arm in a cast. In the footage, he said he did not deny attacking the Basij members but did not remember the details because he had not been in the right state of mind.

State TV also showed on Monday what it said was his subsequent "confession" before a Revolutionary Court.

Activists say Iranian state media routinely broadcast false confessions by detainees that have been coerced through torture and other ill-treatment.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday that her European Union counterparts would agree on Monday a new package of sanctions targeting those responsible for these executions of Majidreza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari, including the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) and those filming "forced confessions".

"These executions are a clear attempt to intimidate, not because people have committed crimes but solely because they voice their views on the streets, solely because they, just like us, want to live in freedom," she told reporters.

BBC Persian's Kasra Naji says it is not clear whether the executions will help end the protests that have been sweeping the country or pour fuel on the fire.

Mashhad was the scene of an anti-government demonstration on Sunday night, while people were heard chanting "Martyr of the country Majidreza Rahnavard" in a video apparently filmed at Rahnavard's grave on Monday.The women-led protests against Iran's clerical establishment were sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police on 13 September for allegedly wearing her hijab, or headscarf, "improperly".

They have spread to 161 cities in all 31 provinces and are seen as one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

Iran's leaders have portrayed the protests as "riots" instigated by the country's foreign enemies. However, the overwhelming majority of protesters have been unarmed and peaceful.

So far, at least 488 protesters have been killed by security forces and 18,259 others have been detained, according to the Human Rights Activists' News Agency (HRANA). It has also reported the deaths of 62 security personnel.

Prior to the two executions, the judiciary had announced that it had issued death sentences to 11 unnamed protesters convicted of the charges of "enmity against God" or "corruption on Earth", another capital offence under Iran's Sharia-based penal code.

However, Amnesty International said following Mohsen Shekari's death that it had identified 18 other people who were at risk of execution. Twelve had been convicted and sentenced to death, while the other six were on trial or had been charged with crimes carrying the death penalty, it added.

Two young men - Mahan Sedarat and Sahand Nourmohammadzadeh - are believed to be at imminent risk of being hanged.

Iran is second only to China in the number of executions carried out annually.

Even before the current unrest there had been what the UN human rights chief called an "alarming increase" in executions in Iran, with the number reportedly passing 400 for the year for the first time since 2017.Rahnavard, a 23-year-old wrestler, had been sentenced to death by a court in the city of Mashhad for allegedly killing two members of the Basij volunteer force and wounding four others. The Basij force, affiliated with the country’s Revolutionary Guards, has been at the forefront of the state crackdown on protests.

The judiciary’s Mizan news agency reported that he was arrested on 19 November while trying to flee the country. Mizan published a collage of images of Rahnavard hanging from a crane, his hands and feet bound, a black bag over his head. Masked security force members stood guard in front of concrete and metal barriers that held back a gathered crowd early on Monday morning.

His execution underscores the speed at which Iran now carries out death sentences handed down for those detained in the demonstrations.

Iranian media has printed the names of 25 other people who faced the death sentence in relation to the protests, which were sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian woman arrested by the morality police for allegedly breaching the country’s strict dress code for women. The protests, described by authorities as “riots”, represent the biggest challenge to the regime since the shah’s ouster in 1979.

On Thursday, Iran hanged Mohsen Shekari, who had been convicted of injuring a security guard with a knife and blocking a street in Tehran, the first such execution after thousands of arrests over the unrest, drawing western condemnation. During his trial, Shekari showed signs of torture visible on his face, his uncle Mahmoud Shekari told the Guardian.

EU and western powers are imposing sanctions on those responsible for the wave of repression but in reality travel bans and asset freezes have little practical impact since those who have faced sanctions are unlikely to travel to the west or own assets outside Iran.

Speaking before an EU meeting on Monday, the EU foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said EU ministers were preparing to endorse “a very tough” package of sanctions against Iran for human rights violations and the supply of drones to Russia.

The protest movement has been calling for Europe tobegin expelling Iranian diplomats and to formally break off the already stalled talks with Iran over the future of the nuclear deal.In a sign of nervousness on the part of the authorities, the state news agencies gave detailed descriptions of how Rahnavard allegedly killed two Basijs, sought to flee the country and then confessed in court. They also claimed local shopkeepers had been demanding retribution.

State TV showed a video in which Rahnavard said in the court that he came to hate the Basij forces after seeing them beating and killing protesters in videos posted on social media. Activists said he was forced to confess under torture.

Heartfelt appeals from parents of sons about to face the death penalty have appeared online or in newspapers protesting their children’s innocence and demanding they are given the basic right to a lawyer of their choosing.

Executions conducted in public with a crane, also used to put down unrest following the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran, have been rare in recent years. Activists have put pressure on companies providing cranes to Iran in the past, warning they can be used for executions.Reformists who remain loyal to the idea of the Islamic Republic have been warning hardliners for weeks that they need to listen to the protests and respond or see most of the already alienated population demand the overthrow of the entire post-1979 system.

At least 488 people have been killed since the demonstrations began in mid-September, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that has been monitoring the protests. Another 18,200 people have been detained by authorities.Masked security force members stood guard in front of concrete and metal barriers that held back a gathered crowd early Monday morning in the Iranian city of Mashhad. 

Mizan alleged Rahnavard stabbed two security force members to death Nov. 17 in Mashhad and wounded four others.

Footage aired on state TV showed a man chasing another around a street corner, then standing over him and stabbing him after he fell against a parked motorbike. Another showed the same man stabbing another immediately after. The assailant, which state TV alleged was Rahnavard, then fled.

The Mizan report identified the dead as "student" Basij, paramilitary volunteers under Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The Basij have deployed in major cities, attacking and detaining protesters, who in many cases have fought back.

A heavily edited state television report aired after Rahnavard's execution showed clips of him in the courtroom. In the video, he says he came to hate the Basijis after seeing video clips on social media of the forces beating and killing protesters.

The Mizan report offered no motive for Rahnavard's alleged attack. The report said Rahnavard was trying to flee to a foreign country when he was arrested.

Mashhad, a Shiite holy city, is located some 460 miles east of the Iranian capital, Tehran. Activists say it has seen strikes, shops closed and demonstrations amid the unrest that began over the Sept. 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by Iran's morality police for allegedly breaching the country's strict hijab dress code for women.

The nationwide protests have expanded into one of the most serious challenges to Iran's theocracy since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Mizan said Rahnavard was convicted in Mashhad's Revolutionary Court. The tribunals have been internationally criticized for not allowing those on trial to pick their own lawyers or even see the evidence against them.

Rahnavard had been convicted on the charge of "moharebeh," a Farsi word meaning "waging war against God." That charge has been levied against others in the decades since the revolution and carries the death penalty.In Brussels, the EU foreign ministers expressed dismay at the latest execution. The bloc is to approve on Monday a fresh series of sanctions against Iran over its crackdown on protestors, and also for supplying drones to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine, the bloc's top diplomat said.

EU foreign policy chief Josp Borrell said he spoke to Iran's foreign minister regarding Tehran's response to the protests and the latest execution and that it was "not an easy conversation."

"We are going to approve a very, very tough package of sanctions," Borrell told reporters as he arrived to chair the ministerial meeting in Brussels. Finland's foreign minister said that he also called his Iranian counterpart.Afterwards, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of the Oslo-based activist group Iran Human Rights wrote that the "execution of #MohsenShekari must be me with STRONG reactions otherwise we will be facing daily executions of protesters. This execution must have rapid practical consequences internationally."

Amnesty International has said it obtained a document signed by a senior Iranian police commander asking that the execution for one prisoner be "completed 'in the shortest possible time' and that his death sentence be carried out in public as 'a heart-warming gesture towards the security forces.'"

Amnesty says "Iranian authorities use the death penalty as a tool of political repression to instill fear among the public and end the popular uprising."

Amid the unrest, Iran is also battered by an economic crisis that has seen the national currency, the rial, drop to new lows against the U.S. dollar.

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