Image of Mahmoud Mehrabi published on social networks

UN Demands Iran Revoke Death Sentence for Mahmoud Mehrabi

Tuesday, 05/14/2024

United Nations experts on Monday called for Iran to rescind the death penalty imposed on Mahmoud Mehrabi, an anti-corruption activist.

Mehrabi, arrested last year, was charged with “corruption on earth”—a vague term that Iran employs to describe various offenses, including blasphemy and actions against Islamic morals, all stemming from his online activism focused on justice and corruption.

The UN team of experts, led by Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, said that "the expression of critical views online and offline cannot meet the threshold under international law for the imposition of the death penalty.” They added that the accusations against Mehrabi do not constitute "the most serious crimes."

In September, the situation escalated as Mehrabi was slapped with additional charges including “propaganda against the state”, “inciting disobedience among police and military forces”, “inciting to war”, “crimes against national security”, and “insulting Iran's founding and current supreme leaders”. Subsequently, Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death.

The UN’s experts said “the arrest, detention and sentencing to death of Mr. Mehrabi sends a chilling message to all those who wish to express themselves freely in Iran.”

The team urged Iranian authorities to amend the constitution and the penal code to abolish the death penalty and commute all existing death sentences.

Rights group Amnesty International reported earlier this year that 853 people were executed in Iran in 2023, a record number in the last eight years. The execution wave continues with dissidents and their families being targeted across the country.

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