US Asks Iran Not to Execute 3 Protesters

The U.S. State Department on Thursday called on Iran not to carry out the possibly imminent execution of three men that Tehran arrested during anti-government protests that spread throughout the country last year following the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman who morality police detained for improperly wearing a hijab.

The State Department told reporters that the execution of Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi would be an affront to human rights.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International said the Iranian Supreme Court had upheld their death sentences after state media broadcast their forced “confessions” to a charge of “enmity against God.”

The three men were arrested in the city of Esfahan last November as they protested the death of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by the country’s morality police last September and died while in police custody.

Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement, “The shocking manner in which the trial and sentencing of these protesters was fast-tracked through Iran’s judicial system amid the use of torture-tainted ‘confessions,’ serious procedural flaws and a lack of evidence is another example of the Iranian authorities’ brazen disregard for the rights to life and fair trial.”

Amnesty International said the families of the three men were allowed to see them Wednesday but were also told it would be their last visitation with them.

Hundreds of protesters, and some Iranian security agents, have been killed in the months of demonstrations. 

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