Throughout history, autocrats constantly struggle to save their unelected and illegitimate rule. Therefore, they do not want to hear any opposite voice and almost always resort to force and violence to hide their people’s real desire.
The Iranian authorities have issued heavy sentences to protesters and dissidents, as well as torturing those arrested, in an attempt to silence dissent and stop protests in their tracks.
While this has long been used by authoritarian governments, it became official policy in 2020 under Judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi, who served on the Death Committee during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.
There are numerous reports of gruesome and ghastly torture in Iranian prisons from former detainees and human rights groups like Amnesty International and Iran Huaman Rights Monitor (Iran HRM), including:
- Electric shocks
- Mock executions
- Sexual violence
- Forced injection of chemicals
- Denial of medical treatment
- Denial of access to their family or lawyer
- Prolonged solitary confinement
- Forced to confess on TV
Here, we will look at just some of these cases in more detail based on the Iran HRM report, where you will find further information on the cases noted below and more.
Death Sentences for Protesters
Wrestling champion Navid Afkari, 27, was arrested following protests in Shiraz in August 2018 and sentenced to death. He was executed in Adilabad Prison on September 12, 2020.
Mostafa Salehi was arrested for his role in the December 2017-January 2018 protests and executed on August 5, 2020.
There are several other cases of death sentences being issued against protesters, based on vague charges and confessions under torture, including at least three in Tehran and five in Isfahan.
Heavy Prison and Flogging Sentences
At least three flogging sentences – those of Mohammad Baqer Souri, Ali Azizi, and Elyar Hosseinzadeh – against protesters have been carried out as of now, but there are many more that have been issued. Far too many to mention here, but this is a brief run-down:
- Student Siavosh Norouzi Jafarlou, arrested during the January 2020 protests was sentenced to 8 years in prison and 74 lashes
- Morteza Omid Beiglou, arrested during the November 2019 protests, was sentenced to 14 years in prison and 222 lashes
- Teenagers Mohammadreza Heydari, Amir Bavi, Jabbar Fiouji, Ali Akbarnejad, and Salar Fiouji, also arrested in November 2019, were sentenced to a total of 468 lashes, as well as fines and prison time.
- Mother-of-three Fatemeh Davand, arrested in November 2019, was sentenced to 5 years and 5 months in prison and 30 lashes
- Hossein Hashemi, arrested in November 2019, was sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashes, re-writing of religious books, and washing the dead