The Iranian government has executed two participants in an anti-government hijab protest. Two people were executed last month, followed by more executions in about a month. This brings the number of people executed for participating in anti-government protests to four. Despite strong condemnation from the international community, the police chief has been replaced by a hardliner to intensify the crackdown on protesters.
According to CNN broadcast in the United States on the 7th (local time), the execution of Mohammad Mehdi Karami (22) and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini (39), who were sentenced to death for participating in anti-government protests, which was carried out on that day. Karami was a karate player, and Hosseini was an educational volunteer.
Iran's judiciary sentenced them to death for "brutally killing a member of the Bashizi militia under Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) while participating in protests near Tehran in November last year." Because the trial was held behind closed doors and in a hurry, it was not confirmed whether the allegations were true. The defense argued that "Karami and Hosseini were subjected to brutal torture in prison before their execution."
Iran also executed two people suspected of killing security forces for participating in anti-government protests on 8 and 12 March. Majidreja Ranabad, 23, who was executed on Jan. 12, hanged himself from a construction crane and publicly hanged himself.
The international community lashed out. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) "strongly condemns unfair trials and executions based on forced confessions" and called for an end to all executions. Robert Mali, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, also tweeted that "two young Iranians were executed in a ridiculous trial" and that "the international community will hold the Iranian leadership accountable."
Iran covered its ears. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has appointed Ahmed Reza Radhan, director of the Institute for Police Strategy, as the new head of the police. According to Reuters, Radan became notorious for his crackdown on massive anti-government protests in 2009 during his tenure as deputy police chief and was sanctioned by the United States and the European Union the following year. This raises the possibility that Iran's crackdown on anti-government protests will intensify. [Hangukilbo]