The Iranian judiciary announced that it carried out, at dawn today, Saturday, a death sentence issued against an Iranian citizen who was convicted of running a corruption network and smuggling Iranian women abroad to practice prostitution, while the wave of international condemnation continues with the wave of executions taking place in Iran at the present time.
The media center of the judiciary reported that the executed citizen, Shahrouz Sakhnouri, known as “Alex”, managed a network of smuggling Iranian women to the UAE and Malaysia with the aim of practicing prostitution.
He added that the accused and three others were arrested in 2020 with the help of the International Police (Interpol).
Today, Saturday, Iranian official and semi-official news agencies published video clips of Alex’s “confessions” of running a corruption network and smuggling Iranian women abroad.
rallies and denunciations
And after the Iranian authorities executed, at dawn on Friday, three young men on charges of killing three soldiers during the recent protests in the country, Iran yesterday witnessed protest gatherings in several cities, including a gathering of worshipers in the city of Zahedan, the center of the province of Sistan and Baluchestan, as well as limited night gatherings in Tehran and Isfahan. With some raising nightly chants from rooftops and balconies, according to videos circulating on social media.
The protesters raised political slogans against the Iranian authorities and officials, condemning the recent executions in the country.
In recent weeks, Iran has witnessed a wave of executions, according to the authorities’ announcement, accused of “drug trafficking”, “insulting sanctities” and “terrorism and militancy”. However, these executions faced internal criticism and international condemnation, amid questions about their implementation at a close time, as they came after the country witnessed, during the past months, widespread protests over the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, days after she was detained by the morality police on charges of not adhering to the rules of hijab.
The Iranian authorities and official news agencies reject international criticism and condemnation, declaring that those who have been executed have been sentenced after several trials, describing critics and those who condemn the executions as “protectors of terrorists.”
The media center of the Iranian judiciary said, on Friday, that the agency executed three men, Salih Mir Hashemi, Majid Kazemi, and Saeed Yaqubi Kordesfali, adding that they carried out an “armed terrorist attack” during the protests in Isfahan, which resulted in the killing of three security men, Ismail Graghi. Mohsen Hamidi and Mohamed Karimi.
The center added that they carried out the attack with “prior joint coordination,” noting that they were accused of using weapons and “militia with the aim of undermining the country’s security and complicity to commit crimes against internal security and belonging and cooperating with the hypocritical group,” a designation used in official Iranian circles to refer to The People’s Mujahedin Organization, classified in Iran as a “terrorist organization”.
The families of the three Iranians have launched appeals in recent days to demand a halt to their execution, while denying their involvement in the killing of the soldiers and considering their confessions to have been “came under torture”, in addition to asking countries, including the United States, Iran not to implement these sentences.
In a statement, the office of the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, strongly condemned the execution of the three Iranians, calling on the Iranian authorities to stop the execution of the death penalty, abide by international commitments, and respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Borrell’s office also called for ensuring a “fair trial” for the defendants in Iran and not exposing them to “any form of ill-treatment”.
In a tweet, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Wupke Hoekstra, condemned the execution of the three youths, stressing that his country would seek to push the European Union to show a “serious reaction” to the executions, and to impose new human rights-related sanctions.
In addition, the Swiss Foreign Ministry accused the Iranian government of having responded with “violence” to the demands of the Iranian people to “respect women’s rights and freedom of expression,” noting that it would make efforts to respect human rights and reduce tension.
A spokesman for the US State Department commented on the executions in Iran by describing the trials as “sham”, saying that “it is clear that the Iranian regime has not learned anything from the protests.”
In a tweet, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong described the execution of Majid Kazemi, Saeed Al Yaqoubi and Saleh Mirhashemi as “an example of the regime’s brutality against its own people,” saying, “We condemn these heinous killings in the strongest terms.”
For his part, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, responded in a press statement today, Saturday, published by Iranian news agencies, to the Western condemnations of the executions and considered them a “new interference”, and condemned the American and European positions in this regard.
Kanani said, “It is better for Western politicians to listen to the protests of their citizens and devote their time to achieving their human rights and demands instead of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and pretending to be human,” as he claimed.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman affirmed that “Europe and America are not authorized, legally, judicially and morally, to express an opinion on judicial issues and human rights in the rest of the countries,” accusing these countries of “blatant violation of the human rights of the rest of the peoples and their citizens.”