May 18, 2023
Iranian Prisoners Facing Imminent Execution Issue Emotional Plea for Help
Three Iranian prisoners on death row have written a message calling for help amid growing concerns over their imminent execution.
"We need your help and support, don't let them kill us," Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi wrote in their message, which was shared by the Twitter account of the opposition activist collective 1500tasvir on May 17.
Kazemi, Mirhashemi and Yaghoubi were handed capital punishment in relation to the death of three members of the security forces during protests in Isfahan on November 15, 2022.
In the late evening of May 17, supporters of the three inmates gathered in front of Isfahan's Dastgerd Prison to prevent their execution.
Eyewitnesses reported that members of the paramilitary Basij force confronted the protesters, resulting in clashes.
Prominent civil society and political activists, both inside and outside the country, also mobilized themselves to prevent the executions.
Popular actress Taraneh Alidoosti used Instagram to implore the United Nations and other international institutions to intervene and save the lives of the three men.
Ali Karimi, a former member of Iran's national football team, expressed his deep concern over the men's fate through a tweet.
A video showing a group of mothers from the western city of Sanandaj condemning the death sentences was distributed on social media.
Protest rallies were held in Berlin, London and Stockholm in support of Kazemi, Mirhashemi and Yaghoubi.
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, urged the international community to take "urgent and bold action" to stop the execution of the three protesters.
"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," Eltahawy said in a statement.