Iran hanged a second protester on Monday morning after he was convicted of stabbing to death two security force members and injuring four others in the holy city of Mashhad.
Majidreza Rahnavard, whose age and details were not disclosed, was arrested on November 19 and was sentenced to death on charges of moharebeh, or waging war against God. The supreme court upheld the verdict.
The swift judicial proceedings have shocked the opposition, stoking concerns that more protesters face execution.
Demonstrations erupted across the Islamic republic in mid-September after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in police custody after she was arrested for failing to observe properly the official Islamic dress code. Last week, Iran executed 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari, who was convicted of stabbing a security official.
At least 10 other demonstrators are on death row, based on reports of the trials in local media.
Mizan, the judiciary’s news agency, said that Rahnavard had stabbed two security force officials — Hossein Zeinalzadeh and Danial Rezazadeh — in the head and neck and had threatened passers-by while he was fleeing the scene.
Local media published video footage from a CCTV camera near the scene that showed a man, allegedly Rahnavard, stab one security official, who fell on the ground, and then run after a second victim.
Rahnavard told the court he knew he had “killed my brothers” and that he “made a mistake”, adding: “I am now awaiting the punishment to be enforced as soon as possible,” Mizan reported. It is not clear whether Rahnavard had access to a lawyer. He was hanged in public.
Iran’s protesters, mostly teenagers and people in their early twenties, said they would not relent until they had toppled the theocracy that has ruled for more than four decades.
“These executions are planned to intimidate people but are making us even more angry,” said Neda, a 40-year-old English language teacher who has taken part in many protests. “They are pushing you to a point that you are not even scared of being hanged.”
Amini’s death in custody sparked large and sustained protests across Iran, which have claimed about 200 lives, according to Iran’s official figures. Amnesty International has put the death toll at more than 300, including 44 children.
“It seems radical groups are determined to show that carrying out such sentences reflects the state’s authority . . . but they fuel disappointment and anger,” said Elias Hazrati, a reformist politician.
Javan Daily, a newspaper affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, said over the weekend that there would be more executions for those convicted of involvement in the deaths of more than 60 security forces.
“Shekari was not the first and won’t be the last defendant being hanged for the riots,” it said. “If we add the damages to businesses because of the riots . . . and stealing the society’s security, their charges will be heavier.”
It added that in some cases, more than one protester was involved in killing one security force member and that all would face execution.