New York-based Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has said that some of those who been arrested in recent protests in Iran have been charged with crimes that are punishable by death.
“A large number” of detained protesters in two Iranian provinces of Hamedan and Khouzestan have been charged with crimes such as “war against God” and “corruption on earth” mentioned in several articles of Iran’s penal code, CHRI reported based on information from unnamed sources.
The exact number of the protesters who are facing such charges is not clear.
Usually, people who are involved in armed conflict against the government face such accusations. Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, thousands of people have been executed after being convicted based on these charges.
In an interview with Radio Farda, Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI’s director expressed serious concerns about such charges against the protesters and added that the families of the detainees are under enormous pressure by the regime not to disclose anything about their detained loved ones to the public.
The recent protests in Iran started on December 28, 2017 in eastern city of Mashhad with slogans against economic problems and corruption. Soon it spread throughout the country and turned into demonstrations against the clerical rule and specially the Supreme Leader ayatollah Khamenei.
While judicial and security officials try to keep all information regarding the protests secret, Mahmoud Sadeghi, a reformist member of Iranian parliament announced days after the unrest that around 3700 protesters were detained across the country.
The judiciary has said that 25 people have been killed during the uprising. According to the admission of officials at least two of the victims have lost their lives in custody. The judiciary claims that the two young men have committed suicide but the families of the victims and human rights activists have dismissed such claim.
Activists also believe that the real number of victims is much higher than what officials have admitted. Iranians in social media have published names and photos of at least two other protestors who allegedly died in prison.
“Due to the fact that the families are under severe pressure to keep quiet, and since the information from official sources are not reliable, therefore we request an independent investigation by a fact-finding delegation sent by the UN to Iran”, Mahmoud Amiri Moghadam, head of Iran’s Human Rights Organization in Norway told Radio Farda.