Iran executes three protesters, ignoring US call for reprieve

They were implicated in the deaths of two members of the Basij paramilitary force and an officer

Iran is reported to have executed three men: Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi. Photo: Mizan News Agency
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Iran executed three men on Friday over recent protests, the judiciary said.

Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi were put to death in the central city of Isfahan, it said on Twitter.

They were implicated in the deaths of two members of the Basij paramilitary force and a law enforcement officer.

The US on Thursday urged Iran not to execute the three.

Protests have swept Iran since September, when Mahsa Amini died in the custody of "modesty police" after her arrest for wearing her hijab "improperly."

Iran has been increasing the use of the death penalty, including by executing four protesters last year, prompting international condemnation.

Mr Kazemi's case has caused concern in Australia where some of his family live, with his cousin saying that he was involved in "peaceful protests" for change.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist and activist, called on US politicians to do more to support the Iranian people and to isolate Tehran.

Ms Alinejad on Wednesday told the International Republican Institute in Washington that crowds were gathering at the Isfahan prison to stop the executions of "three innocent protesters".

Tehran is feeling "more relaxed" about executing protesters, she said, now that the daily protests that rocked Iran last year have abated and media attention has largely moved on.

Protesters in Iran are "trying to protect the rest of the world from one of the most dangerous regimes, which is called [the] Islamic Republic", Ms Alinejad said.

The US on Thursday urged Iran not to execute the three people.

"We join the people of Iran and the international community in calling on Iran to not carry out these executions," State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

"The execution of these men after what have widely been regarded as sham trials would be an affront to human rights and basic dignity in Iran and everywhere.

"It is clear from this episode that the Iranian regime has learned nothing from the protests that began with another death, the death of Mahsa Amini."

Updated: May 19, 2023, 6:58 AM