Slain teenager Sepehr Beiranvand

Officer Acquitted of Killing 19-Year-Old Protester in Iran

Tuesday, 06/25/2024

The security officer who fatally shot 19-year-old protester Sepehr Beiranvand in 2022, has been acquitted of the murder charge.

"The plain clothes officer who fatally shot this teenager in the neck before bystanders was acquitted of the charge of intentional homicide by the central province court after one year and eight months," a person close to Beiranvand's family told Iran International.

According to this source, in June 2023, the officer was formally accused of deliberate homicide in an indictment issued by the Lorestan Military Court.

He added, "Following the case referral to the Supreme Court for confirmation of the punishment, the judges ordered a reexamination of the evidence by experts familiar with the case."

Beiranvand was writing slogans on a street in Khorramabad, in western Iran, when plainclothes officers noticed him. He attempted to escape by climbing a municipal gas pipe, but he was shot in the neck and died as a result.

According to the source, after Biranvand's death, the government insisted on holding a funeral without any relatives present before releasing his body. They also demanded money from his family to send experts to investigate the case. Witnesses to Beiranvand's killing emphasized that he was unarmed and just writing slogans when he was identified and shot.

The nationwide protests of 2022, known as the Woman Life Freedom movement, were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police. The protests resulted in the deaths of over 550 protesters, including minors.

After a thorough investigation spanning 18 months, a UN fact-finding mission in March issued its report, determining that the Iranian government bears responsibility for the "physical violence" leading to the death of Amini.

According to the report, the regime perpetrated extensive and persistent human rights violations that contravened international laws, disproportionately affecting women, girls, children, and members of ethnic and religious minorities during the protests.

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