Iran summons Swiss ambassador over executions tweet

Tehran criticised Switzerland's 'interventionist position' in the country's internal affairs

People clash with police in Tehran on September 21 after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini. EPA
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Switzerland's ambassador was summoned by Iran on Sunday over a tweet calling for a stop to executions linked to protests caused by the death of Mahsa Amini, Tehran's Foreign Ministry said.

On Friday the Swiss embassy posted a tweet to "strongly condemn" the execution earlier that day of three men convicted of killing security force members during last year's protests in the central city of Isfahan.

"Switzerland urges Iran to stop these executions and to take steps to reduce the use of the death penalty," said the tweet from the embassy, which also represents US interests in Tehran.

Ambassador Nadine Olivieri Lozano was summoned "following Switzerland's interventionist position in our country's internal affairs", the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

The Swiss tweet featured an image from a protest outside Iran showing protesters raising a poster of Amini, who died in custody on September 16, and waving Iran's pre-Islamic revolution flag.

Tehran on Sunday condemned "the unconventional and unprofessional use of this country's embassy in Tehran in republishing an image with a fake flag".

"Such an unconventional action is not compatible with the friendly relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Swiss Confederation, and should be corrected," it said.

There were waves of nationwide protests after the death of Amini, 22, an Iranian Kurd who was arrested for wearing her hijab "improperly".

Alternative Mahsa Amini protests - in pictures

During the protests, which Tehran generally called foreign-instigated "riots", thousands of Iranians were arrested and hundreds killed, including dozens of security personnel.

Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi were hanged on Friday after being found guilty of "moharebeh" – or waging "war against God".

Tehran claimed they were linked to the deaths of three security troops on November 16.

The executions drew sharp reactions from western countries and were censured by human rights groups based outside Iran.

Iran executes more people a year than any other nation except China, say human rights groups including Amnesty International.

The pace of the executions has been frantic in 2023, with the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights counting at least 270 executions since the start of the year.

Updated: May 21, 2023, 10:52 PM