Iran Hangs Two Election Protesters

By Bobby Rajabi
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

TEHRAN, Iran – On January 28 the Iranian government hanged two men convicted of being enemies of God (Mohareb). These marked the first executions of protesters wince the protests over the disputed presidential election in June that awarded second term to Iranian President Mahmound Ahmedinejad. The executions of the two men were condemned by both nations around the world and Amnesty International.

Iranian state television reported that Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmani Pour were executed. Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi confirmed the hanging as well. Dolatabadi explained that “they objected to the preliminary sentencing, but the appeals court upheld the verdict and they were hanged (on January 28.” He also said that Zamani and Pour “belonged to the monarchist group Tondar. During their trials they confessed to obtaining explosives and planning to assassinate officials.”

Zamani was among the scores of people who were arrested in the mass protests that followed the election. However, Pour’s lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, denied that her client had anything to do with the post-election riots. Sotoudeh told the Associated Foreign Press that Pour “was arrested in Farvardin (the Iranian month convering March-April) before the election and charged with cooperation with Tondar.”

Sotoudeh explained that Pour was convicted in a show trial in July 2009 and that he confessed to the charges because of threats made against his family. She insists that what her client went through constituted a “show trial.”

Baqer Moin, an Iranian author and journalists, said that the executions were intended to “set an example and frighten some of the people who may shout slogans that are not of the liking of the authorities.” Moin also explains that the executions could be used to head off any possible mass rally that could take place on the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Civil unrest erupted in Iran after the June 12 Presidential election. The opposition insisted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad won the election through fraud. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured into the streets. Dozens of protesters were killed with hundreds being detained. The Iranian government, in response to the protests, insisted that they were were a foreign backed bid to undermine the country’s Islamic system of government.

For more information, please see:

AFP – Iran Hangs First Two Post-Election ‘Rioters’ – 28 January 2010

Al Jazeera – Iran Executes Two Over Poll Unrest – 28 January 2010

AP – Iran Hangs Opposition Activists – 28 January 2010

BBC – Iran ‘Executes Two Over Post-Election Unrest’ – 28 January 2010

Author: Impunity Watch Archive