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Iran appeals court upholds death sentence for student protester

[JURIST] An Iranian appeals court on Wednesday upheld [Kaleme report, in Persian] the death sentence for a 20-year-old student who took part in anti-government protests in December. Mohammad Amin Valian was convicted [AFP report] of Moharebeh, which means waging war against God and is punishable by death under Iranian law. At trial, Vilian testified that he threw stones [AP report] at the security officers during the protests, but that he did not hit anyone. The protests [JURIST report], which interrupted the Shia Muslim celebration of Ashura, were the largest since those that followed the disputed presidential election [JURIST news archive] in June.

Last month, an Iranian court sentenced one person to death [JURIST report] and eight others to prison for their involvement in the December protests. Also in February, Iranian authorities arrested [JURIST report] seven people for allegedly planning to provoke rioting on February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution [BBC backgrounder], including several in the employ of the US Central Intelligence Agency [official website]. The seven allegedly played a key role in the Ashura protests. The protests resulted in at least four deaths, numerous injuries, and more than 300 arrests.

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