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Iran suspends execution of anti-government protesters following online campaign
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Iran suspends execution of anti-government protesters following online campaign

Iran’s supreme court on Sunday suspended the execution of three men convicted following the November 2019 anti-government protests.

The Revolutionary Court in Tehran had in February 22 convicted the three men of moharebeh (waging war against God), and “destroying and setting fire to public property with the aim of confronting the political system of the Islamic republic,” in addition to other charges. The Supreme Court confirmed their death sentences over a week ago. The court had stated that it found evidence on the accused’s phones of them setting fire to banks, buses and public buildings during the protests. Following a request from the lawyers representing the accused, the Supreme Court has decided to review their case.

Amirhossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi, all in their 20s, were among the protesters in the violent and deadly anti-government protests that erupted on November 15. The death toll from the protests has remained uncertain, but it is believed that the number is in the hundreds. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in December called Iran’s crackdown on protesters “clear violations of international norms and standards on the use of force, and serious violations of human rights.”

The past week saw massive outrage around Iran and the world, demanding a halt to executions in the country. The hashtag “DontExecute” had been used seven million times over the course of the week. International organizations and human rights groups including UN human rights experts, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had condemned the decision and demanded quashing of the death sentences.

Iran, which already ranks second in the world in terms of the number of executions, has only continued to escalate its use of death penalty, especially against protesters, dissidents and individuals from minority groups. The accused men’s lawyers hope that the verdicts would be overturned, a process that could take months.