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Iran's Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty For Three Young Protesters

From right to left: Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi and Saeed Tamjidi who have been sentenced to death in connection with acts of arson that took place during protests in November 2019.

The Islamic Republic Supreme Court has admitted it has upheld death sentences for three young protesters arrested in mid-November anti-establishment rallies, one of the attorneys disclosed on Friday, July 10.

In a tweet Mostafa Nili also disclosed that the defendants' lawyers have not yet been allowed to access their clients' legal cases.

However, he expressed hope that the verdict was not final and could be appealed.

Meanwhile, in an open letter addressed to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic Judiciary, the attorneys of the three requested permission to study and investigate the cases to defend their clients.

Most political and security related trials in Iran are without due process and behind closed doors, even denying access to lawyers.

The three young suspects, all born in the early 1990s, were tried and sentenced to death last March, in acourt presided by a notorious hardliner judge, Abolqassem Salavati. They were charged with participation in armed conflict, illegal exit from the country, attending protests, and sabotage. They were also sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 222 lashes.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) had revealed on June 23 that the death sentence for Amir Hossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeed Tamjidi had been upheld by the Supreme Court of the clergy-dominated Iran.

Following widespread public reactions in June, judicial officials said, "No verdicts have been issued for those detained in the mid-November protests".Later, the Judiciary spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Esmaeili, also denied that the Supreme Court had upheld the three young men's death sentence.

Nonetheless, he accused them of having "links with specific grouplets abroad", "armed robbery, kidnapping and harassment of the public."

“Grouplets” is used as a humiliating term by the Islamic Republic officials to refer to dissident movements outside Iran, including royalists and the Mujahedin Khalgh Organization (MKO).

In an open letter addressed to Esameili, the attorneys of the defendants fired back, stressing that it was not clear under which law their clients were being accused.

An overnight three-fold increase in gasoline price in mid-November 2019 led to widespread protests in more than 100 cities and 29 of 31 provinces of Iran.

Supported by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, anti-riot special units, and plainclothesmen, the Islamic Republic security forces brutally suppressed the uprising, killing hundreds of protesters, and arresting thousands more.

Amnesty International has repeatedly warned that detainees were at risk of torture and ill-treatment and long prison terms.

Furthermore, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, condemned the death sentence against the three young men on June 25 and asserted that the Islamic Republic should respect human rights and end such executions.