HomeWorldMiddle EastIran Executes Protester Amidst Controversy Over Unfair Trial and Mental Health Concerns

Iran Executes Protester Amidst Controversy Over Unfair Trial and Mental Health Concerns

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Iran has executed 23-year-old Mohammad Ghobadlou, a man sentenced to death in connection with mass protests against the clerical establishment in September 2022.

Ghobadlou was convicted of murder and “corruption on Earth” for allegedly running over a policeman with his car during a protest near Tehran. However, human rights groups argue that his trial was unfair and tainted by allegations of torture.

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Ghobadlou’s execution marks the ninth in connection to the nationwide unrest triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in custody after being detained by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab “improperly.”

The protests have resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of detentions, with security forces characterizing the demonstrations as “riots.”

Despite appeals to consider Ghobadlou’s mental health condition, his execution was carried out on Tuesday morning, as confirmed by the judiciary-run Mizan news agency.

Videos posted on social media captured the heartbreaking scenes of Ghobadlou’s family, including his mother and aunt, crying out in anguish at the gates of Qazalhasar prison in Karaj moments after he was hanged.

One woman was heard telling prison guards, “You killed my Mohammed. He took to the streets for all of the young people.”

Ghobadlou’s mother had made an emotional appeal to the family of the policeman her son was convicted of killing, urging them not to seek retribution in kind.

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She emphasized her son’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder as a teenager and his discontinuation of medication two months before the protests, arguing that it diminished his responsibility.

His lawyer, Amir Raesian, contended that the execution was illegal and amounted to “murder.”

Raesian argued that the Supreme Court had previously struck down the death sentence in July due to Ghobadlou’s mental health condition. However, Mizan disputed this claim, stating that the Supreme Court had twice rejected such appeals.

Amnesty International, in a report last year, highlighted the grossly unfair nature of Ghobadlou’s trials, marred by torture-tainted confessions and a lack of rigorous mental health assessments.

The human rights group revealed that he was denied access to a lawyer following his arrest, subjected to beatings, and not given his bipolar medication to force a confession.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director of Iran Human Rights, labelled Ghobadlou’s execution as “an extrajudicial killing,” holding Iran’s leader, Ali Khamenei, and the judiciary accountable for the crime.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi had called on Iranians to express solidarity with Ghobadlou’s family, urging them not to remain silent in the face of what she called a deliberate act of murder.

As the international community reacts to this controversial execution, concerns about human rights violations and the fairness of Iran’s judicial system continue to mount.

The case of Mohammad Ghobadlou serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by those who dissent against the Iranian regime and the broader implications for the right to fair trial and due process in the country.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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