Update on Legal Status of Death-Row Protesters Ten Months after the 2022 Nationwide Protests

Since the inception of the 2022 nationwide protests, judicial authorities have handed down death sentences to 25 protestors thus far, with 7 executions having already taken place. While the Supreme Court of Iran has upheld the death sentence for Mohammad Ghobadlou, it has overturned ten other death sentences. The remaining seven death sentences were issued by lower courts and are currently awaiting finalization.

According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports, at least 25 protesters have been sentenced to death since the beginning of the 2022 protests.

Among them, Mohammad Ghobadlou’s death sentence was recently affirmed by the first branch of the Supreme Court of Iran. The death sentences of other protestors, Mansour Hout, Nezam’aldeen Hout, Ebrahim Naroui, Abbas (Mojahed) Kourkouri, Shoaib Mirbalouchzohi Rigi, Mansour Dehmorde, and Kambiz Khorout, were initially handed down by lower courts and are currently under review by the Supreme Court.

Additionally, the death sentences of Reza Arya, Hamid Ghare Hassanlou, Sahand Nourmohammadzadeh, Hossein Mohammadi, Mehdi Mohammadifard, Arshia Takdastan, Javad Rouhi, Saman Seydi (Yasin), Mahan Sadrat Marani (Madani), and Mohammad Boroughni have been overturned at various times. Their cases have been referred for review to another court branch. Some of these individuals have been sentenced to imprisonment or exile following the reversal of their death sentences, while the cases of others are still under review.

To date, 7 protesters have been executed.

Mohsen Shekari was the first to be executed on December 8, 2022. Four days later, Majid Reza Rahnavard was executed in public in Mashhad.

Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini, two of the accused in the case known as “the murder of the Basiji Ruhollah Ajamian,” were executed on January 7, 2023.

In addition, Majid Kazemi, Saeed Yaghoubi, and Saleh Mirhashemi, three of the accused from the case known as “the Isfahan house,” were executed on May 19, 2023, in Dastgerd Prison, Isfahan.

According to reports obtained by HRANA, these 25 protesters have primarily been sentenced to death on charges of alleged “spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God (Moharebeh).” Many of them have been denied proper access to legal representation of their choice during the judicial process.

Some close relatives of these individuals have disclosed to HRANA that “forced confessions extracted under psychological and physical duress/torture by interrogators” have been presented as evidence during the trial.

Most of these death sentences were issued by judges such as Seyed Ali Mazloum, Seyed Mousa Assef Alhosseini, Abolghassem Salavati, Mohammadreza Amuzad, Iman Afshari, Seyed Hadi Mansouri, and Morteza Barati.

The Revolutionary Court of Tehran has issued the highest number of death sentences following the protests, with a total of 6 such sentences thus far.
The Revolutionary Court of Karaj and the Judicial Complex of Shahid Nouri (the public court of Zahedan) follow closely with 5 death sentences each.
The Revolutionary courts of Sari and Isfahan have each issued 3 death sentences, and finally, the Revolutionary courts of Mashad, Ahvaz, and Zahedan, have each issued one death sentence for the accused protesters.

Following is a list of the 25 protesters who received death sentences, along with information on their current legal status:

ghobadlou

1. Mohammad Ghobadlou – born in Tehran in the year 2000, arrested on September 22, 2022, sentenced by Judge Abolghassem Salavati, branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran
Lawyers: Mehdokht Damghanpour and Amir Raisian,
Charge(s): “Spreading corruption on earth,”
Latest case status: confirmation of the sentence by the first branch of the Supreme Court of Iran.

2. Mansour Hout – born in Chabahar in the year 1995, arrested on September 30, 2022, sentenced by judge second branch of the Judicial Complex of Shahid Nouri (the public court of Zahedan),
Lawyers: –
Charge(s): “Spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: sentenced to death by the court of first instance (sentencing is not final).


3. Nezam’aldeen Hout
– born in Chabahar in the year 2002, arrested on September 30, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge of branch 2 of the Judicial Complex of Shahid Nouri (the public court of Zahedan),
Lawyers: -,
Charge(s): “Spreading corruption on Earth” and “Enmity against God,”
Latest case status: sentenced to death by the court of first instance (sentencing is not final).

4. Ebrahim Naroui – born in Zahedan in 1997, arrested on October 3, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge, branch 6 of the Zahedan Revolutionary Court,
Lawyers: -,
Charge(s): “Enmity against God,”
Latest case status: sentenced to death by the court of first instance (sentencing is not final)

5. Abbas (Mojahed) Kourkouri – born in Izeh (birthdate is unknown), arrested on December 20, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge of (unclear branch) Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz,
Lawyer: Davoud Shahvali,
Charge(s): “Spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: sentenced to death by the court of first instance (sentencing is not final)

6. Shoaib Mirbalouchzohi Rigi – born in Zahedan in 2004, arrested on October 5, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge of branch 2 of the Judicial Complex of Shahid Nouri (the public court of Zahedan),
Lawyer: -,
Charge(s): “Spreading corruption on earth,”
Latest case status:  sentenced to death by the court of first instance (sentencing is not final)

7. Mansour Dehmorde – born in Zahedan in 2000, arrested on October 3, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge of branch 2 of the Judicial Complex of Shahid Nouri (the public court of Zahedan),
Lawyer: -,
Charge(s): “Spreading corruption on earth,”
Latest case status: sentenced to death by the court of first instance (sentencing is not final).

8. Kambiz Khorout – born in Zahedan in 2001, arrested on October 1, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified Judge of criminal branch 2 of the Judicial Complex of Shahid Nouri (the public court of Zahedan),
Lawyer: -,
Charge(s): “Spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: sentenced to death by the court of first instance (sentencing is not final)

 

The protesters whose death sentences have already been carried out:

1. Saeed Yaghoubi Kordsefli – born in Isfahan in 1985, arrested in mid-November 2022, sentenced by Judge Morteza Barati, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Isfahan,
Lawyer: Mohammadreza Ensafdaran,
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Date of Execution: May 19, 2023

2. Majid Kazemi Sheykh Shabani – born in Isfahan in 1992, arrested on November 21, 2022, sentenced by Judge Morteza Barati, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Isfahan,
Lawyers: Mehrdad Atapour, Amir Shirian, Masoud Rajabi Siahboomi,
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Date of Execution: May 19, 2023

3. Saleh Mirhashemi – born in Isfahan in 1986, arrested on November 16, 2022, sentenced by Judge Morteza Barati, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Isfahan,
Lawyers: Abdullah Delavari, Mohammad Malmir, Seyed Saber Mohammadian,
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Date of Execution: May 19, 2023

4. Mohsen Shekari – born in Tehran in 1999, arrested on September 25, 2022, sentenced by Judge Abolghassem Salavati, branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran,
Lawyer:-,
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Date of Execution: December 8, 2022

5. Mohammad Mehdi Karami – born in Bijar in the year 2000, arrested on November 5, 2022, sentenced by Judge Mousa Assf Alhosseini, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj,
Lawyer: Mohammad-Hossein Aghassi,
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,”
Date of Execution: January 7, 2023

6. Seyed Mohammad Hosseini – born in Karaj in 1982, arrested on November 3, 2022, sentenced by Judge Mousa Assf Alhosseini, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj,
Lawyer: Ali Sharifzadeh Ardekani,
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,”
Date of Execution: January 7, 2023

7. Majidreza Rahnavard – born in Mashad in 1999, arrested on November 20, 2022, sentenced by Judge Seyed Hadi Mansouri, branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashad,
Lawyer: Mohammad Sarreshtedar (public defender),
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Date of Execution: December 12, 2022

 

The protesters whose death sentences have been reversed or are under review:

1. Mohammad Boroughni – born in Pakdasht Karaj in 2003, arrested in October 2023, sentenced by Judge Abolghassem Salavati, branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran,
Lawyer:-,
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: acceptance of the request for retrial at the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

2. Mahan Sadrat Marani (Madani) – born in Tehran in 1999, arrested on October 12, 2022, sentenced by Judge Iman Afshari, 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran,
Lawyer: Abbas Mousavi,
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: acceptance of the request for a retrial at the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

3. Reza Arya – born in Tehran in 1980, arrested in mid-November 2022, sentenced by Judge Mousa Assf Alhosseini, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj,
Lawyer: -,
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,”
Latest case status: 10 years imprisonment following the reversal of the death sentence at the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

4. Hamid Ghare Hassanlou – born in Tehran in 1969, arrested on November 4, 2022, sentenced by Judge Mousa Assf Alhosseini, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj,
Lawyer: Ahmad Mollai (public defender),
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,”
Latest case status: 15 years imprisonment following the reversal of the death sentence at the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

5. Sahand Nourmohammadzadeh – born in Tehran in 1996, arrested on September 23, 2022, sentenced by Judge Seyed Ali Mazloum, branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran,
Lawyer: Hamed Ahmadi (public defender),
Charge(s): “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: 6 years imprisonment and 10 years exile following an appeal to the Supreme Court of Iran

6. Hossein Mohammadi – born in Tehran in 1996, arrested on November 5, 2022, sentenced by Judge Mousa Assf Alhosseini, branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj,
Lawyer: -,
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,”
Latest case status: 10 years imprisonment following the reversal of the death sentence at the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

7. Mehdi Mohammadifard – born in Nowshahr in 2003, arrested on September 30, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge of branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Sari,
Lawyer: -,
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,” and “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: reversal of the death sentence at the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

8. Arshia Takdastan – born in Nowshahr in 2004, arrested on September 21, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge of branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Sari,
Lawyer: -,
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,” and “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: released on bail following the reversal of two death sentences by the Supreme Court of Iran

9. Javad Rouhi – born in Amol in 1986, arrested on September 21, 2022, sentenced by an unidentified judge of branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Sari,
Lawyer: Soleiman Vatandoust (public defender) and Majid Kaveh (by choice),
Charge(s): “spreading corruption on earth,” and “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: reversal of three death sentences by the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

10. Saman Seydi (Yasin) – born in Kermanshah in 1995, arrested on October 1, 2022, sentenced by Judge Abolghassem Salavati, branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran,
Lawyer: Mohammad Esmail Beygi,
charge: “enmity against God,”
Latest case status: reversal of the death sentence at the Supreme Court of Iran and transfer of the case

 

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini by morality police due to alleged “improper veiling” and her subsequent death during detention led to widespread protests in Iran. The protesters commenced the longest sustained widespread protests in the history of the Islamic Republic on September 17, 2022, with the slogan “Woman, life, freedom” and protested the laws, structure, and competency of the regime. Thousands were arrested and hundreds were killed in the crackdown on protesters by security/military forces.

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, the Director of Global Advocacy and Accountability at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

 

A Comprehensive Report of the First 82 days of Nationwide Protests in Iran

  HRANA – Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old young woman, was arrested by the morality police for the crime of improper hijab. Her arrest and death in detention fueled nationwide protests in Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. The following 486-page report is dedicated to the statistical review, analysis, and summary of the first eighty-two days of the ongoing protests (September 17 to December 7, 2022). In this report, in addition to the geographic analysis and the presentation of maps and charts, the identity of 481 deceased, including 68 children and teenagers, an estimated of 18,242 arrested along with the identity of 3,670 arrested citizens, 605 students and 61 journalists or activists in the field of information is compiled. In addition, the report includes a complete collection of 1988 verified video reports by date and topic. The report examines protests across 1115 documented gatherings in all 31 provinces of the country, including 160 cities and 143 universities.

Summary

Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a young 22-year-old woman from Saqqez, Kurdistan was visiting Tehran, when she was taken into custody on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, by the Morality Police officers at the Haqqani metro station in Tehran. The reason for her arrest: not properly observing the strict Islamic dress code. Mahsa/Zhina was taken to the infamous detention center of Moral Security Police known as Vozara.
Shortly after Mahsa’s arrest, she went into a coma with level three concussion, and her partially alive body was transferred to the intensive care unit of Kasra Hospital. Given the track record of the police and Guidance Patrols in mistreating the arrestees and similar previous incidents, with the believe that Mahsa was beaten during the arrest people were outraged.

Download full report in PDF format

Unpersuasive explanations given by the Central Command of the Islamic Republic Police Force (FARAJA) in defense of its actions regarding the death of Mahsa, the past performance of the police force, along with widespread dissatisfaction with the existence of a body called the Moral Security Police, fueled widespread protests in Iran.
The widespread protests sparked at the time Mahsa Amini was announced dead in front of Kasra Hospital on Argentina Street in Tehran, and then quickly spread to the streets despite the intimidating presence of Iran’s security forces. The protests intensified after Mahsa’s burial in a Saqqez cemetery. To the extent that after eighty-two days of nationwide protests between September 17, 2022, to December 7, 2022, they have spread to Iran’s all 31 provinces, 160 cities, and 143 major universities.
The protests did not stay limited to Mahsa’s death, it rather, quickly targeted the Iranian government’s political and ideological foundations. These protests were violently quashed by the anti-riot police and Iran’s militia force (Basij). teargas, pellets, and live ammunition were used in the repression of protestors. This widespread crackdown has led to the death of dozens of people and the wounding of hundreds of protestors.
Despite sever communication restrictions imposed by the Islamic Republic, this report attempts to give a clearer picture of the first 82 days of the protests between September 17, to December 7, 2022. It’s worth mentioning at the time of this report the protests are still ongoing in various forms.

Table of Contents

 

 

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]