Iran protester on death row granted retrial: judiciary

31 Dec 2022 05:49pm
Image for illustrative purposes only - OZAN KOSE/AFP
Image for illustrative purposes only - OZAN KOSE/AFP
TEHRAN - Iran's top court has ordered the retrial of a third man reportedly sentenced to death over nationwide protests, the judiciary said Saturday.

The Islamic republic has been rocked by protests since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress code for women.

Iranian officials say hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest, including members of the security forces, and thousands have been arrested.

Foreign-based rights groups had reported Sahand Nourmohammad-Zadeh was sentenced to death for tearing down highway railings and setting fire to rubbish bins and tyres.

On Saturday, the judiciary's Mizan Online news website said the 26-year-old had been granted a retrial, without specifying the original verdict.

"The appeal against the decision issued by the Tehran Islamic Revolution Court was upheld in the Supreme Court," a statement noted, adding that Nourmohammad-Zadeh's case is referred to another court to be tried again.

His lawyer, Hamed Ahmad, told the ILNA news agency on December 21 Nourmohammad-Zadeh had been sentenced to death after being convicted of "moharebeh", which means "enmity against God".

"I sincerely hope that the Supreme Court cancels my client's death sentence," the lawyer added, citing new evidence in the case.

Nourmohammad-Zadeh is the third person reportedly on death row to be allowed a retrial after Kurdish rapper Saman Seydi, also known as Saman Yasin, and Mahan Sadrat.
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Earlier in December, Iran executed two people in connection with the protests.

Majidreza Rahnavard, 23, was hanged in public on December 12 after being sentenced to death by a court in the city of Mashhad for killing two members of the security forces with a knife.

Four days earlier, Mohsen Shekari, also 23, was executed for wounding a member of the security forces.

The judiciary has said nine others have been sentenced to death, while campaigners said this week dozens of protesters face charges that carry potential capital punishment. - AFP