Iran Executes Second Anti-Hijab Protestor For 'Waging War Against God'

In the second execution within a week, the Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday hanged a man linked to the nation’s anti-hijab protests.

The man, identified as Majid Reza Rahnavard, was executed by hanging in public for “waging a war against God”, the Iranian judiciary’s news agency Mizan reported.

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“Majid Reza Rahnavard was hanged in public in (the holy Shi’ite city of) Mashahd this morning … he was sentenced to death for ‘waging war against God’ after stabbing to death two members of security forces,” Mizan said. 

As per reports, Rahnavard was “sentenced to death on November 29 for killing two security guards with a knife and wounding four others”.

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US, allies condemned last execution

Another man Mohsen Shekari was executed for injuring a security guard with a knife and blocking a street in Tehran on Thursday. His execution faced a global backlash, with rights groups, the United States and its allies condemning the move.

The news agency Reuters, on account of rights groups, reported that Shekari was tortured in jail and was pressured to make a false confession.

If the reports are to be believed, authorities in Iran are seeking the death penalty for 21 people, as claimed by Amnesty International. The organisation has alleged that these people have been convicted in “sham trials designed to intimidate those participating in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran”.

As per human rights groups outside Iran, more than 450 people have already died in the protests that sparked following the death of Mahsa Amin in custody.

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 Iran Protest | AFP

The authorities claim that the death toll during the nationwide protests stands at around 200 – including protesters and security personnel fatalities.

Mahsa’s death and the protests 

Mahsa Amini, the Kurdish woman who died, had been detained on September 13 in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

She was apprehended by the police unit that enforces the country’s obligatory dress codes, including the compulsory wearing of the headscarf in public.

Officials claim that Mahsa died of a heart attack in custody on September 16. The critics, however, believe she was physically assaulted on accusations of violating the hijab mandate.AFP

Since Amini’s death, protesters have cut their hair, burned their head coverings and shouted anti-government slogans. Every day a growing number of women are not observing hijab, particularly in Tehran. 

The hijab headscarf became obligatory for all women in Iran in April 1983, four years after the 1979 revolution overthrew the US-backed monarchy.

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