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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Iran planning execution of 9 more election protesters: report
Sarah Miley at 11:56 AM ET

[JURIST] Iran will "soon execute" nine more Iranian citizens for their roles in last summer's post-election protests [JURIST news archive], according to a statement given by senior judiciary official Ebrahim Raisi to the Fars News Agency [official website] Tuesday. The nine protesters are charged with the capital crime of moharebeh, which means waging war against God. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi [JURIST news archive] has condemned the hangings and holds that they are aimed at intimidating protesters who are planning a demonstration on February 11 during the 31st anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution. In an interview on his website [personal website], Mousavi stated that he plans to move forward with the demonstration because "peaceful protests are Iranians' right." Contrary to most reports, an Al Jazeera reporter in Tehran claims that a final decision on the executions has still not been reached [Al Jazeera report].

The news of the impending executions comes one day after top Iranian judge Sadeq Larijani said that any further executions of anti-government protesters will be based on the law [JURIST report] rather than on political pressure. The death sentences were issued last week, the same day two Iranian men identified as Momammed Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour were executed [JURIST report] on similar charges. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] condemned [press release] the executions, saying, "[t]hese shocking executions show that the Iranian authorities will stop at nothing to stamp out the peaceful protests that persist since the election." The Iranian government has faced significant international scrutiny for its handling of the post-election protests and treatment of thousands arrested as a result. Last month, AI labeled [JURIST report] human rights violations committed by the Iranian government following the election among the worst of the past 20 years.

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