Photo of Mohammad Ghobadlou

Iran Hangs Protester Whose Sentence Was Overturned

Tuesday, 01/23/2024

The Iranian regime executed another young protester early Tuesday local time, despite the fact his sentence had been overturned by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Court.

Mohammad Ghobadlou was accused of hitting and killing a policeman with his car during the 2022 protests in Iran. He and his defense attorney consistently denied the charge, providing evidence to show his innocence.

In a complete collapse of judicial process, Ghobadlou’s defense was informed of the decision to hang him with half a day's notice. Attorney Amir Raisian published the notice on his X account, saying that the execution would amount to “murder”, since the initial verdict had been overturned and his client had a right to appeal.

Monday night, hours after the news broke out that the imminent execution of the 23-year old, his family and dozens of concerned citizens gathered in front of the prison, hoping that their presence could at least delay the execution –that is usually carried out with the morning call to prayer just before the sunrise.

Right after sunrise, the Islamic Republic Judiciary outlet Mizan News announced that Ghobdalou had been executed.

A short clip emerged on X, showing Ghobadlou’s mother at the prison gate shouting at the guards, “you killed my Mohammad, he’d taken to the streets for all you youngsters.”

Iran executed around 800 people in 2023, including several political prisoners. Political detainees almost in all cases face unfair trials without due process of law or a fair chance of self-defense.

This the first time, however, that a death sentence has been carried out after being rejected by a higher court, raising questions over the reasons and the timing of the execution, in particular.

During nationwide anti-regime protests in 2022-2023, security forces killed around 550 protesters and arrested 22,000 people. Hundreds of civilians, mostly young people, were injured, many bearing permanent loss of eyes and other permanent damages.

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