Iran hanged two men on Saturday for allegedly killing a security official during nationwide protests that followed the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16, Reuters reported.
The two men executed on Saturday had been convicted of killing a member of the Basij paramilitary force militia. Three others have been sentenced to death in the same case, while 11 received prison sentences, according to Reuters.
“Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, principal perpetrators of the crime that led to the unjust martyrdom of Ruhollah Ajamian were hanged this morning,” the judiciary said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency as quoted by Reuters.
The latest executions bring to four the number of protesters officially known to have been executed in the aftermath of the unrest.
Amnesty International said last month that Iranian authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 26 others in what it called “sham trials designed to intimidate protesters in the popular uprising that has rocked the country”.
It said all of those facing death sentences had been denied the right to adequate defense and access to lawyers of their choosing. Rights groups say defendants have instead had to rely on state-appointed attorneys who do little to defend them.
Amnesty said the court that convicted Karami, a 22-year-old karate champion, relied on forced confessions.
Quoted by Reuters, Hosseini’s lawyer Ali Sharifzadeh Ardakani said in a Dec. 18 tweet that Hosseini had been severely tortured and that confessions extracted under torture had no legal basis.
He said Hosseini was beaten with his hands and feet tied up, kicked in the head until he passed out, and subjected to electric shocks on different parts of his body.
Iran denies that confessions are extracted under torture.
Mahsa Amini died in custody in September after being arrested by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code laws. The protests that ensued represent one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.