BBC Persian: Iran secretly executes Milad Zohrevand for connection with 2022 protests News
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BBC Persian: Iran secretly executes Milad Zohrevand for connection with 2022 protests

According to BBC Persian, Iranian authorities secretly executed 21-year-old Milad Zohrevand on Thursday for his involvement in anti-government protests last year. The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights reports that Zohrevand is one of eight protesters that Iran has executed.

BBC Persian reported that the prosecutor of Hamadan announced the execution of a prisoner in a Hamadan prison for the crime of “killing a government force,” named Ali Nazari. The prosecutor did not name the executed prisoner. However, according to the BBC Persian’s “knowledgeable source” and human rights organizations, Zohrevand was the executed prisoner. Ali Nazari was a revolutionary guard who was killed during the 2022 protests. Hengaw labeled the crime as a “false charge” and “strongly condemn[ed]” the secret killing. BBC Persian also reported that Zohrevand was denied his right to a lawyer during proceedings.

In response to the execution, Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam stated:

Like the execution of other protesters, Milad Zohrevand’s execution without due process or a fair trial is a criminal act and Islamic Republic authorities must be held accountable for this crime. Protester executions weren’t carried out in the last months due to the strong international backlash and high political cost. The international community’s relative silence to the extraordinary wave of executions over the past months has prompted the Islamic Republic to resume protester executions.

Additionally, IHRNGO condemned the execution and noted that Iran has executed at least 684 people in 2023. IHRNGO also stated that there has been a surge in Iran executions since the start of the war in Gaza.

Protests arose in Iran in 2022 following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The Tehran police arrested Amini in September 2022. According to Iranian state news outlet Etemad, she was arrested for wearing an “improper” hijab. Two hours later, Amini’s family discovered she had been taken to the hospital in a coma. After two days, the Tehran police reported that she had died in custody. Her death led to the Women, Life, Freedom protests across Iran.

Iranian authorities have cracked down on protests ever since they erupted following Amini’s death. In September, Iran opened fire on protesters in Zahedan on the one-year anniversary of a massacre known as “Bloody Friday.” On Bloody Friday, Iranian authorities opened fire on Masha Amini protestors and killed 100 individuals. Additionally, in October, the Tehran Court in Iran sentenced two female journalists who covered the Mahsa Amini protests to prison.