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Three November Protesters In Iran Sentenced To Death

Abolqassem Salavati, a notorious hardliner judge who often presides over trials of political prisoners. FILE PHOTO

A Revolutionary Court in Tehran has sentenced three people arrested in the heat of anti-government protests last November to death. They were sentenced behind closed doors by the notorious ultraconservative judge, Abolqassem Salavati.

An Iranian monitoring groups, the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) has named the three as Amir Hossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeed Tamjidi.

An overnight three-fold increase in gasoline prices in November, 2019, triggered a wave of protests that soon turned into anti-Islamic Republic unrest in 29 out of 31 provinces of Iran.

On top of the death penalty, Salavati sentenced Moradi to an extra fifteen years in prison and 74 lashes for the charge of "cooperation in aggravated armed robbery" and one-year imprisonment for "crossing the border unlawfully."

Salavati sentenced the other two, Rajabi and Tamjidi, each to ten years jail and 74 lashes for "cooperation in aggravated armed robbery" and one-year imprisonment for "crossing the border unlawfully."

HRANA says that the prisoners were simply protesters and it appears they were forced to confess to crimes.

Documents collected by HRANA show that 26-yer-old Amir Hossein Moradi was working as a cell phone, computer, and software salesperson in Tehran when he was arrested.

"On November 19, Amir Hossein Moradi was identified and arrested by security services (through observing the CCTV footage). Mr. Moradi was in solitary confinement in ward 240 of Evin Prison for a month. The security agents beat him during the interrogation," HRANA has divulged.

Citing a source close to Moradi's family, HRANA reported that the 26-year-old cellphone vendor told his family that he was attacked by a stun gun, threatened to spend more time in solitary confinement, and was promised to receive medical treatment to pressure him to deliver a forced confession.

Twenty-six-year-old Rajabi, and 28-year-old undergraduate student in electrical engineering, Tamjidi, were also battered and forced to confess to a series of crimes dictated by their interrogators.

Based on Judge Salavati's verdict, the three will have another trial on March 3, 2019, but the trio's attorneys say that their sentences are final.

A source close to their families who wanted to stay anonymous told HRANA that the detainees say most of the accusations were false, and they confessed under torture. They added that "We were tired of injustice in the country, and we went to the street to protest."