New York: Iran’s judiciary has sentenced three more anti-government protesters to death on charges of “waging war on God”, its Mizan news agency reported, defying growing international criticism over its fierce crackdown on demonstrators.
Iran hanged two other men last week, one of them a karate champion with several national titles, in its attempts to stamp out demonstrations, which have slowed considerably since it began carrying out executions within weeks of arrests.
Mizan said Saleh Mirhashemi, Majid Kazemi and Saeid Yaghoubi, who had been convicted of allegedly killing members of the volunteer Basij militia during anti-government protests in the central city of Isfahan, could appeal against their verdicts.
The Basij forces, affiliated with the elite Revolutionary Guards, have been at the forefront of the state clampdown on the unrest sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police on Sept 16.
One of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution, the protests have drawn support from Iranians in all walks of life and challenged the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy by calling for the downfall of its rulers.