A court in Mashhad has passed a death sentence on a man arrested March 2020 for allegedly setting fire to government property, including the penitentiary.
According to a tweet by lawyer Babak Paknia, his client Mohammad Javad Vafaei Sani had been convicted of ‘corruption on earth.” Sani, 26, is a former school boxing champion in Mashhad, in Khorasan province, north-east Iran.
Reports on websites run by the Albania-based Mujajideen-e Khalq claim Vafaei Sani, described as a “political prisoner,” had been tortured in jail for two years to force him to confess after his family was unable to afford a 300 billion rial bail (around $1.2 million) set for his release.
Earlier in the month, a report said that more than 365 prisoners were executed in 2021 in Iran, about one death per day. Some executions take place in secret and not reflected in reports.
Human rights organizations and United Nations experts have repeatedly called on Iran to end executions, especially those of juvenile offenders. Iran in 2020 had the second highest number of executions globally (246) after China, with thousands, and ahead of Egypt (107), and Saudi Arabia (27). Amnesty International says Iran has used the death penaltyas a form of political intimidation, and that executions follow unfair trials and may involve confessions made under duress.