Milad Zohrevand was executed on November 23, 2023.

Execution Of Another Protester Sparks Outrage Among Iranians

Friday, 11/24/2023

The execution of Milad Zohrevand, a young Iranian protester on Thursday, has shocked and angered anti-government activists and dissidents in Iran and abroad.

Zohrevand was secretly executed in the Malayer prison in the western province of Hamedan while his family were not allowed to see him for one last time. Hengaw Human Rights Organization said in a statement that Zohrevand had not been notified that his execution.

The 21-year-old was married and became a father while serving time in prison. It is not clear if he ever had the opportunity to see his newborn child before his death.

In June, Zohrevand was sentenced to death in connection with the “murder” of an IRGC officer named Ali Nazari during the nationwide uprising against the Islamic Republic. Zohrevand was arrested by security forces on October 26, 2022, at the height of the anti-regime protest movement, triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death in the custody of the hijab police.

Gohar Eshghi, the mother of the 35-year-old blogger Sattar Beheshti, who was killed under torture in Evin prison 11 years ago, released a video message after the Zohrevand’s execution.

"You're right; you start working at five in the morning. At the time of the call to morning prayer, you execute the youth or kill them under torture," Eshghi said in the video, addressing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, “do not kill these young people."

Executions take place around the time of Muslim dawn prayer in Iran.The time for the call for dawn prayer (called azan or adhan) is now associated with executions for Iranians.

Despite the claims made by the Iranian judiciary, no video has been released so far showing how the IRGC officer was killed. According to human rights activists and organizations, there are many contradictions in the charges levelled against Zohrevand.

Iran’s judiciary and security officials provided different and even contradictory data regarding the number of suspects that were arrested in relation to the “murder” of the IRGC officer.

Zohrevand was reportedly accused by prosecutors of being one of a group of five masked men who shot the IRGC intelligence agent as he confronted students demonstrating at the Malayer Faculty of Medical Sciences in October 2022.

Information received by Iran International indicates that Zohrevand was denied access to a lawyer and other basic rights of an accused throughout his detention. His family was also under intense pressure from the IRGC intelligence service not to make public statements about his case.

The execution comes two weeks after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released a report highlighting a surge in executions in Iran.

According to the report, at least 419 people were executed, including 409 men and 10 women, between January 1, 2023 and July 31, 2023, marking a 30 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Iran is second only to China in the number of executions carried out annually.

At least eight people have been executed by the Iranian regime for their involvement in nationwide protests triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.

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