Iran sentences first person to death over protests triggered by death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody

Iran sentences first person to death over protests triggered by death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody
back of person with arms in air making peace symbols with hands
A picture obtained by AFP outside Iran shows shows a demonstrator raising his arms and makes the victory sign during a protest for Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran on September 19, 2022. - Fresh protests broke out on September 19 in Iran over the death of a young woman who had been arrested by the "morality police" that enforces a strict dress code, local media reported.AFP via Getty Images
  • Iran has issued its first death sentence to a protester accused of setting a building on fire.

  • The protester was charged with "enmity against God," the BBC reported.

  • Iran has been rocked by protests following the death of a young woman in police custody.

An Iranian court has issued the first death sentence to someone accused of taking part in street protests that have rocked the country since the death in police custody of a young woman who was accused of not properly wearing a hijab.

The alleged protester, whose name has not been made public, was charged with "enmity against God," the BBC reported, and accused of setting fire to a government building. At least 20 other people are also facing potential execution, the outlet said, citing Iranian human rights activists.

Thousands of people have been detained across Iran since mid-September, when mass protests began following the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody. Amini was accused of not properly wearing a hijab as required under the Iranian government's austere interpretation of Islamic law.

Others facing the death penalty include a rapper, Toomaj Salehi, who recorded music supporting the protests, as well as two female journalists, Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, The Washington Post reported.

Iran Human Rights, an activist group based in Norway, on Monday accused the Islamic Republic of "using the death penalty to create societal fear." Iranian authorities accuse protesters of taking part in "riots" fomented by Western governments.

Thousands of people have been detained since protests broke out, many facing charges under vague "national security" laws, according to Human Rights Watch.

"Iran's vicious security apparatus is using every tactic in its book, including lethal force against protesters, arresting and slandering human rights defenders and journalists, and sham trials to crush widespread dissent," Tara Sepehri Far, a researcher at HRW, said in a statement.

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