Iran court issues first death sentence in protest-linked cases

 In addition to this sentence, other rioters in Iran have also received prison terms, according to Iranian authorities.

As part of Iran's ongoing demonstrations, a court in Tehran has sentenced one person to death and thrown numerous others in jail.

On Sunday night, the Iranian judiciary announced that an unidentified person had been convicted of "setting fire to a government center," "disturbing public order," "collusion for committing crimes against national security," "moharebeh" (waging war against God), and "corruption on Earth," all of which carry mandatory death sentences in Iran.

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Five more unidentified people were sentenced to between five and ten years in prison on national security-related offenses; they were classified by authorities as "rioters," the word the government uses to describe the current protests and those taking part in them.

The court system made clear that the punishments were not final until they were confirmed by an appeals court, at which point the information about them may be made public.

More than a thousand indictments have been issued in Tehran alone, according to the judiciary, and hundreds more have been lodged against persons arrested in other parts of the country.

Leading members of the political establishment in Tehran called for expedited courts to punish "rioters" and dissuade similar protests, and the first public tribunals related to the protests were conducted in late October.

The majority of Iran's parliamentarians have called on the judiciary to "deal forcefully with the perpetrators of these crimes [the protests] and with all those who participated in the crimes and instigated rioters" in a statement released last week.

Protests erupted in Tehran in the middle of September after morality police arrested a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the state-mandated dress code. Amini died while in police custody.

The third anniversary of the protests that began in the country in November 2019 will arrive later this week, but that hasn't stopped the demonstrations from continuing in spite of the persistent internet restrictions.

Protests broke out across Iran as fuel prices were tripled overnight, and a nationwide internet blackout followed suit and lasted for almost a week.

Sunday saw the arrival in Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan province's capital city, of a group sent by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to probe the September 30 events that left dozens dead.

At least 66 people, including children, were killed by live ammunition on "bloody Friday," according to Amnesty International, while other sources allege even higher death tolls.

The Iranian government said that "terrorists" fired on a police station, prompting the deployment of security troops.

However, Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi, the Sunni Friday prayer leader of Zahedan, has disputed this account, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the government and the police.

According to state-run IRNA, Ismaeelzahi was present at a meeting with the supreme leader's representatives on Sunday, where he again denied the claims that protesters were armed or assaulted the police station.

SOURCE:NEWS AGENCIES

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