Iran top court orders retrial of three protesters after death penalty suspension


The Iranian Supreme Court had ordered a retrial of the three protesters linked to violent anti-government protests in November last year, according to one of their lawyers.

Iran authorities have suspended the execution of Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi and Saeed Tamjidi – who are in their 20s – after a massive social-media campaign calling to halt state executions, lawyer Babak Paknia said.

The three men were among thousands of protesters across Iran who took to the streets in November against the government’s decision to raise the price of petrol.

They were sentenced to death earlier this year, but it was the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the sentence earlier this week that unleashed public anger, with the Persian hashtag #do_not_execute used seven million times online.

Amnesty International said the three men who had been sentenced to death underwent “grossly unfair trials” and their “confessions” was extracted through torture.

The online protest has been joined by many Iranians — including ordinary citizens as well as intellectuals, former politicians, and prominent artists.

More than 300 protesters were killed and thousands others were arbitrarily detained during the authorities’ crackdown against November’s unrest, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

Iran carries out more executions than any other country, except China, and has continued to use the death penalty despite dealing with the Middle East’s biggest outbreak of COVID-19.

Many Iranian human rights activists believe that by carrying out executions and sentencing protesters to death the leaders are hoping to scare people away from returning to the streets. (Source: BBC)