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Iranian Activist Sentenced to Death

Image of Mahmoud Mehrabi published on social networks

Isfahan's Islamic Revolutionary Court has sentenced another dissident, Iranian social media activist Mahmoud Mehrabi, to death on the charge of "corruption on earth."

Mehrabi’s lawyer, Babak Farsani, said that the charge was issued without detailed justification from Branch 5 of the court.

The charges of "corruption on earth" and "Moharebeh" (waging war against God) represent the most severe criminal offenses under the Islamic Republic's interpretation of Sharia law, both carrying the penalty of death.

The government’s intelligence ministry, which usually takes charge of sentencing dissidents, has historically exploited the vague terms to target and silence them.

Prominent Iranian dissident rapper Toomaj Salehi was sentenced to death by the same court just last month – over his support for nationwide anti-regime protests in 2022.

In a recent statement on X (formerly Twitter), Farsani expressed hope that the country’s Supreme Court of Iran would consider the grave concerns raised in their appeal against the verdict.

In a video posted online, Mehrabi's sister said she was verbally informed by authorities of the execution order, and is urging the international community and the public to advocate for her brother and all political prisoners in Iran.

Despite limited information on Mehrabi's specific activities, it is known that he faced allegations of "spreading falsehoods on Instagram," "anti-regime propaganda," "incitement of military and law enforcement to abandon their duties," "promoting conflict and violence," and "insulting the Supreme Leader," as reported by the Telegram channel Human Rights Advocates.

Mehrabi first became entangled in the country’s legal system, which is not independent, when he was arrested in February 2023 and subsequently transferred to Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan.

He was briefly released on bail in April 2023 but was rearrested hours later at his parental home in Mobarakeh, after an operation by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard's (IRGC) intelligence agents.

This sentence comes amid an escalating use of the death penalty in Iran, following the unprecedented nationwide protests in 2022.

According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), executions have more than doubled in the past two years, with 767 individuals executed in the year ending March 2024, highlighting an intensified crackdown on dissent within the country.

© Volant Media 2024

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