Majidreza Rahnavard: Iran carries out second execution over protests – BBC

Iran says it has publicly hanged a 23-year-old in what is the second execution linked to the recent anti-government protests.
Majidreza Rahnavard, 23, was hanged early on Monday in the city of Mashhad, the judiciary said.
A court convicted him of "enmity against God" after finding he had stabbed to death two members of the paramilitary Basij Resistance Force.
Rahnavard was hanged just 23 days after his arrest.
Human rights groups have warned that protesters are being sentenced to death after sham trials with no due process.
His mother was not told of the execution until after his death.
His family were then given the name of a cemetery and a plot number. When they turned up, security agents were burying his body.
Opposition activist collective 1500tasvir tweeted that the family were telephoned by an official at 07:00 local time and told: "We have killed your son and buried his body in Behesht-e Reza cemetery."
They allowed #MajidRezaRahnavard’s mother to visit him, and didn’t speak of execution at all. She left smiling and hoping that her son would be released soon.
This morning she arrived when her son’s murderers were burying his dead body alone.#StopExecutionInIran pic.twitter.com/9n2k02uE60
The judiciary's Mizan news agency said Rahnavard was hanged "in the presence of a group of Mashhadi citizens" and posted several pre-dawn photographs reportedly showing the execution.
In the images a man could be seen hanging from the cable in front of onlookers – it is not clear how many people attended the execution, or who they were.
Rahnavard was denied a lawyer of his choice for his trial. The lawyer he was given did not put up a defence.
Mizan had previously reported that he was accused of stabbing to death two members of the Basij on a street in Mashhad on 17 November. The Basij is a volunteer force often deployed by Iranian authorities to suppress dissent.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Norway-based Iran Human Rights, said on Twitter that Rahnavard's sentencing was based on "coerced confessions, after a grossly unfair process and a show trial".
"This crime must be met with serious consequences for the Islamic Republic," he said, adding that there was a "serious risk of mass execution of protesters".
The women-led protests against Iran's clerical establishment were sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police on 13 September for allegedly wearing her hijab, or headscarf, "improperly".
They have spread to 161 cities in all 31 provinces and are seen as one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.
Iran's leaders have portrayed the protests as "riots" instigated by the country's foreign enemies. However, the overwhelming majority of protesters have been unarmed and peaceful.
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Watch: The secret diaries of women protesting in Iran
A video broadcast by state TV after his arrest on 19 November showed Rahnavard blindfolded and with his left arm in a cast. In the footage, he said he did not deny attacking the Basij members, but did not remember the details, because he had not been in the right state of mind.
State TV also showed on Monday what it said was his subsequent "confession" before a Revolutionary Court.
Activists say Iranian state media routinely broadcast false confessions by detainees that have been coerced through torture and other ill-treatment.
Later on Monday, the EU sanctioned Iranian state TV and its director for broadcasting forced confessions. It also imposed sanctions on Iran's army chief and regional commanders of the Revolutionary Guards over the repression of protesters.
Iran has said it plans to sanction several German and British political figures who have denounced Tehran's actions.
The first execution of a protester took place last Thursday, triggering international condemnation. Mohsen Shekari, 23, was convicted of "enmity against God" after being found to have attacked a Basij member with a machete in Tehran.
BBC Persian's Kasra Naji says it is not clear whether the executions will help end the protests that have been sweeping the country or pour fuel on the fire.
Mashhad was the scene of an anti-government demonstration on Sunday night, while people were heard chanting "Martyr of the country Majidreza Rahnavard" in a video apparently filmed at Rahnavard's grave on Monday.
So far, at least 488 protesters have been killed by security forces and 18,259 others have been detained, according to the Human Rights Activists' News Agency (HRANA). It has also reported the deaths of 62 security personnel.
Iran is second only to China in the number of executions carried out annually.
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