By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News) – Iran has sentenced a protester to death in the first known use of capital punishment by Islamic authorities seeking to suppress nearly two-month-old antigovernment demonstrations.
The accused was sentenced Sunday in a Tehran court to death for the crimes of “setting fire to a government building, disturbing public order, assembly and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security,” as well as for being “an enemy of Allah and corruption on earth.”
More death sentences were expected. Authorities said they issued indictments of more than 1,000 people in Tehran alone.
And on Sunday, a judge in the southern province of Hormozgan reportedly said that 164 more protesters would be charged with various offenses, from propaganda to incitement to murder.
The protests were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died of alleged mistreatment while in police custody for allegedly not wearing the hijab properly.
In footage seen by Worthy News, a woman could be seen dancing without the obligatory hijab. Another person held a sign saying, “We are not [an] Islamic republic. We are Iran.”
The massive protests prompted authorities to unleash a crackdown that has seen thousands detained.
At least 330 people died in the government’s response to demonstrations that began as a defiant call for women’s rights and transformed into a movement demanding the toppling of the Islamic leadership and political system.
Western governments have begun putting pressure on Iran to temper its response to the protests.
Iceland and Germany want a special session at the United Nations Human Rights Council over the situation in Iran to “address the situation of women and girls in Iran in recent protests.”
As the crackdown continues, U.S. President Joe Biden faces growing calls from activists and even a former crown prince to back regime change in Iran openly.
U.S. officials said they must factor everything from the human rights demands of Iran’s protesters — many young and female — to the U.S. preference for using diplomacy to keep Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
However, Washington did impose sanctions following Amini’s death and also hit Iran with sanctions for supplying drones and technical assistance to Russia for its war against Ukraine.
Earlier, the Biden administration ordered U.S. military strikes in August against Iranian-backed militias in Syria in response to attacks on U.S. forces in the region.
Biden also vowed this month to “free” Iran without elaborating but said demonstrators working against the country’s government would soon succeed in freeing themselves.
That prompted an angry reaction from Iran’s hardline president, who said the 1979 Islamic revolution freed Iran.
“I am telling Biden that Iran was freed 43 years ago,” President Ebrahim Raisi said in a live televised speech on November 4.
That opinion isn’t shared by the growing group of protesters and devoted Christians in several prisons.
Yet with more death sentences expected, more clashes were expected between demonstrators and government forces.
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