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Iran Hangs 23-Year-Old in Latest Crackdown on Mahsa Amini Protesters

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Iran executed a man accused of killing a security officer in protests that followed the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.

Mohammad Ghobadlou, 23, was hanged early Tuesday, the judiciary’s Mizan news agency reported. He was charged with spreading “corruption on earth,” a crime punishable by death, for allegedly killing a policeman in anti-government protests that gripped Iran after the death of 22-year-old Amini in Sept. 2022.

Read More: Mahsa Amini's Death Still Haunts the Iranian Regime

The order to carry out Ghobadlou’s execution was “completely illegal,” his lawyer, Amir Raisian, told Iranian newspaper Shargh on Monday. Ghobadlou had the right to appeal the death sentence and be given a new trial, Raisian said, after the country’s supreme court had overruled his death penalty.

Ghobadlou’s execution marks the latest chapter in Tehran’s crackdown on protests that swept the nation for months. Rights groups say more than 500 people died in government crackdowns on protests that followed the death of Amini—who was detained for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.

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Since then, at least seven men, most in their 20s, have been hanged for their alleged roles in the unrest while thousands more were jailed, according to Amnesty International.

Protesters carry a banner with portraits of the people
Protesters carry a banner with portraits of the people executed by the Iranian regime, during a rally outside the United Nations’ office in Geneva on Nov. 3, 2023.Siavosh Hosseini—SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Imprisoned for more than 480 days, Ghobadlou was believed to have been in danger of imminent execution in January 2023. At the time, scores of people picketed the Rajai Shahr prison, where he was jailed, following reports that he was to be hanged before dawn. Iran’s judiciary dismissed the reports as a “deception campaign,” but many people believe the protests helped delay his execution.

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