File photo of anti-regime protests in Tehran

Iran Rocked By Fresh Wave Of Street Protests Over Hangings

Sunday, 05/21/2023

The execution of three political prisoners in Iran has sparked a resurgence of nationwide street protests.

The Tehran neighborhoods of Tehransar, ShahrakEkbatan, Sattarkhan and Aryashahr were rocked by demonstrations Saturday evening that continued until the early hours of Sunday.

Anti-regime slogans were heard elsewhere in areas across the capital.

There were reports of sporadic clashes with security forces attempting to disperse the protesters, who in some neighborhoods had managed to block the roads after setting fire to trash cans.

In the religious city of Mashhad, protesters chanted "The Islamic regime is the killer of Iranians." Demonstrations were reported in several other cities, including Abdanan in the western province of Ilam and Gorgan in the northern province of Golestan.

While security forces came out in large numbers to stop demonstrations being held, defiant Iranians staged protest roadblocks in the streets of their cities and voiced their anger by hooting their horns.

The unrest follows the hanging of demonstrators Majid Kazemi, Saeed Yaghoubi and Saleh Mirhashemi on Friday. Protests outside the jail where they were held and outraged calls by the international community had failed to halt the Islamic Republic's execution machine. The deaths brought to at least seven the number of protesters hanged since nationwide protests broke out in September 2022 following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. 

The three were convicted over the death of two IRGC’s Basij militia members and a police officer during protests in November last year, in what Persian media have dubbed the ‘Esfahan (Isfahan) House’ case, named after the area, where they were arrested. Human rights campaigners say they were tortured into confessions, and there was no reliable evidence against them.

Leaked audio from police radio chatter from the night the three regime agents were killed indicates that they were killed by friendly fire of plainclothes forces. The victims had alibis for the time the agents were killed, with the family of one of the victims saying there is CCTV video footage of their son at work.

About a day after the executions, regime agents also attacked the protesting family of Majid Kazemi and arrested two of his brothers and his sister.

Iranians abroad have held protests against the Islamic Republic execution spree in dozens of cities around the world since Saturday.

Graves of Majid Kazemi, Saeed Yaghoubi and Saleh Mirhashemi

Nationwide protests that erupted after the death of Kurdish Iranian Mahsa Amini posed the biggest internal challenge to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.

So far, around 500 civilians have been killed by security forces and at least 20,000 arrested. While many have been released, around 1,500 face criminal charges, and at least 80 detainees face the death sentence.

Opposition activists say the regime is using the death penalty as an intimidation tactic to stop further protests.

The United Nations said earlier in the month that Iran has executed 209 people so far this year, calling the record "abominable".

Earlier in May, Amnesty International urged Iran to drop the execution of the three as well as that of six ethnic Arab men who gave “tortured-tainted” confessions. 

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