After the Islamic Republic started executing protesters on Thursday, global condemnations and calls for action began to pour in from all over the globe. 

France's foreign ministry spokesperson said that the European Union is set to approve new sanctions targeting Tehran over human rights abuses in its crackdown on protesters in the country as well as supplying Russia with weapons to be used in the invasion of Ukraine. 

Condemning the execution in the “strongest terms,” Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters that “This execution comes on top of other serious and unacceptable violations.”

She added that foreign ministers would discuss new designations on individuals and entities involved in the crackdown and entities exporting drones to Russia. The EU has already imposed two rounds of sanctions since October in the form of asset freezes and travel bans.

Earlier on Thursday, the Islamic Republic hanged Mohsen Shekari, a young protester convicted of injuring a security guard with a knife and closing off a street in the capital Tehran. Nationwide protests that erupted after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini on September 16 represent one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979. So far, around 500 civilians have been killed by security forces and at least 18,000 arrested. While many have been released, around 1,500 face criminal charges, and at least 80 detainees face the death sentence.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price described the execution as "a grim escalation in the regime’s attempt to suppress dissent and quash these protests.” Expressing condolences to his loved ones, he denounced the “draconian sentences and the denial of due process to the accused in the strongest terms.” 

Condemning the execution, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described the Iranian regime's contempt for humanity as “boundless," saying that Shekari was “tried and executed in a perfidious summary trial because he disagreed with the regime. But the threat of execution will not stifle people's desire for freedom.”

European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

Vice-President of the German Parliament Katrin Göring-Eckardt tweeted, "Mohsen Shekari was only 23. The Iranian regime executed him for taking to the streets for a free Iran. It reacts with all (un)imaginable brutality to protests. The death penalty is contrary to human rights, everywhere."

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also expressed outrage, and called on the world not to “turn a blind eye to the abhorrent violence committed by the Iranian regime against its own people.”

Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt also denounced the execution, and called on the regime to immediately halt executions, and to end the repression of fundamental freedoms.

Javaid Rahman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, also said that he is “absolutely horrified, shocked and outraged by the news,” calling on Iranian authorities to immediately stop the use of death penalty as a weapon against protesters.

Vice-President of the European Parliament Pina Picierno said, “It is the first insane death sentence carried out on a protester in Iran,” and reiterated that the EU will always be “on the side of freedom, on the side of the protesters.”

Former Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström urged the international community to be the voice of Iranians, saying that Sweden and the EU must take action quickly to save others. “The International community needs to speak out loud and clear against this.”

Human rights groups are also condemning the execution. Amnesty International urged the world to make Iranian authorities halt all planned executions and stop using the death penalty as tool of political repression against protesters in their attempt to end the popular uprising. It added that Shekari's execution "[exposed] the inhumanity of Iran's so-called justice system as dozens of others face the same fate". 

"The international community must immediately and strongly react to this execution," Mahmood Amiri-Moghaddam, director of the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights, said in a statement, adding, “If Mohsen Shekari's execution is not met with serious consequences for the government, we will face mass execution of protesters.”

Two diplomatic sources told Reuters that the new EU sanctions were expected to be approved and adopted on Monday. According to one of the sources, 21 individuals and one entity would be sanctioned over human rights abuses, while there had been 10 proposals on the drone side.

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