December 12, 2022 – The hanging in public of Majidreza Rahnavard, 23, in Mashhad today—the second execution of a young person in Iran without due process in less than a week—is a prelude to more state-sponsored murders of young people in the absence of a strong and coordinated international response, said the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“This wasn’t a trial or judicial sentence, it was a lynching,” said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi. “He was denied every semblance of due process; he was executed just 23 days after being arrested.”
“It is critical that governments, especially the UK and EU countries, recall their ambassadors, downgrade relations, and summon Iran’s diplomats to demand an immediate mortarium on executions and lethal force against protesters,” added Ghaemi.
“Without significantly strengthened and coordinated international action, and further political and economic isolation, the Islamic Republic will continue to kill young men and women, in executions or on the streets,” said Ghaemi.
Rahnavard was arrested in Mashhad, Iran, on November 17 and accused of killing a member of the Basij paramilitary force.
Two days later, state media broadcast a video of him—blindfolded and with his arm in a sling—saying he did not deny attacking a member of the Basij paramilitary force but did not remember the details.
Controlled by Islamic Republic intelligence agents, Iranian state media has a documented history of aiding the intelligence and security apparatus in obtaining false forced “confessions” under extreme duress, including torture, and broadcasting them to defame political prisoners in the public eye.
Rahnavard was convicted on the charge of “enmity against God.” He was denied a lawyer of his choice and time to prepare a proper defense. The self-incriminating statement he was forced to make on state TV while blindfolded was used in court as a “confession.”
Iranian authorities reportedly refused to notify Rahnavard’s family before he was hanged, said the activist 1500tasvir account on Twitter. The last time his mother visited him, she did not know he would soon be hanged.
At Rahnavard’s freshly dug grave today, people chanted, “A martyr in the nation’s path.”
Mohsen Shekari, 23, was hanged on December 8.
At least 16 other young people have been sentenced to death in Iran, according to research by CHRI:
Sahand Nourmohammadzadeh, Tehran, 25
Mahan Sedarat Madani, Tehran, 23
Manouchehr Mehman Navaz, Tehran, age unknown
Mohammad Boroughani, Pakdasht, 19
Mohammad Ghobadlou, Tehran, 22
Hamid Ghare-Hassanlou, Karaj, age unknown
Mohammad Mehdi Karami, Karaj, 22
Reza Ariya , Karaj, 43
Mohammad Hosseini, Karaj, age unknown
Hossien Mohammadi, Karaj, 26
Akbar Ghaffari, Tehran, age unknown
Saeid Yaghoubi, Isfahan, 30
Saleh Mirhashemi, Isfahan, 31
Amir Nasr Azadani, Isfahan, 26
Parham Parvari, Saqqez, 26
Saman Yasin (Seydi), Tehran, 24
“The government in Iran is murdering young people on the streets and at the gallows to terrify the Iranian people into submission,” said Ghaemi.
“This is a test for the international community, to see if it is willing to impose meaningful consequences on a tyrannical government that kills men, women, and children to silence dissent,” said Ghaemi. “Without it, the carnage will simply continue.”