Iran’s Behbahan Court, in Khuzestan province, has sentenced 36 protesters including two women, arrested during November 2019 protests a total of 109 years in prison, 2,590 lashes, and a 33 million rials [$110] fine.
The protesters were informed of their sentences on October 22, just days before the anniversary of the 2019 protests, during which Behbahan was a hotbed of protest.
Let’s look at the sentences of these women:
- Roghieh Taherzadeh was ordered to pay 33 million rials [$110] if she wanted to avoid three months in prison for the “crime” of insulting government agents while on duty
- Maryam Payab was given one year in prison and 74 lashes for “disruption of public order”
In related news, another protester – this time from Khorramabad, Lorestan Province – was sentenced to one year in prison.
Fatemeh Khoshrou, 32, who was arrested on November 16, 2019, alongside 69 other citizens in Khorramabad, was told about her sentence via email. She was tried in absentia on October 5 by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Khorramabad on charges of:
- leading riots
- disrupting public order by taking part in illegal gatherings
- collaborating with hostile and dissident groups
- preparing and sending footage of illegal gatherings to operatives in Turkey
Khoshrou was held in Khorramabad detention center for 18 days, where she was brutalized and put under pressure to make false confessions on TV, before being moved to Ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. After 34 days under interrogation, she was transferred to Khorramabad Prison. She was temporarily released 10 days later, in mid-January, on a 100 million Tomans bail until her trial was convened and her sentence finalized.
During the November 2019 uprising, some 1,500 peaceful protesters were murdered by special forces, including about 400 women. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had ordered the special forces to “do whatever it takes to stop [the protesters]”.
Of course, these numbers are a conservative estimate because the government is well versed in trying to cover up its crimes and the Iranian Resistance could only uncover so many deaths. Never asked, this is undoubtedly one of the most horrific crimes of the 21st century.
Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian opposition President, has repeatedly urged the United Nations and the European Union to take immediate action to save more protesters by dispatching fact-finding missions to Iran to investigate this, visit prisons, and secure the release of those arrested.
She called on the UN Security Council to declare the Iranian government, specifically Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and IRGC Commander Hossein Salami, as perpetrators of crime against humanity.