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Source: Iranwire

Jan 28, 2023

Amnesty International is urging the Iranian authorities to immediately quash the convictions and death sentences of three young protesters who have been subjected to “gruesome torture” and denied the right to a fair trial.

Arshia Takdastan, 18, Mehdi Mohammadifard, 19, and Javad Rouhi, 31, endured “floggings, electric shocks, being hung upside down and death threats at gunpoint,” the London-based human rights group said on January 27.

It also learned that Revolutionary Guards agents raped Mohammadifard and sexually tortured Rouhi “by placing ice on his testicles for two days.”

The men’s appeal is before the Supreme Court.

The Iranian authorities must order a prompt, transparent and impartial probe to bring those suspected of responsibility for the torture of the three young men to justice, said Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The fact that members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and prosecution officials “reasonably suspected of responsibility or complicity in their sexual abuse and other forms of torture enjoy absolute impunity highlights the sheer cruelty and inhumanity of Iran’s judicial system,” she said.

Takdastan, Mohammadifard and Rouhi were handed two death sentences in December 2022 for “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth” for inciting “widespread” arson or vandalism during protests in the northern city of Noshahr on September 21.

Rouhi received a third death sentence for “apostasy” based on his “confessions” under torture that he burned a copy of the Quran during demonstrations.

All three men were denied access to a lawyer during the investigation phase, and access to a lawyer of their choice at trial, which Amnesty said consisted of a single hearing lasting less than an hour for each.

“It is abhorrent that while the majority of the world’s states have consigned the death penalty to history, the Iranian authorities are increasingly imposing it for offences such as arson or vandalism, in gross violation of international law,” Eltahawy said.

She urged the international community to take all necessary measures to pressure the Iranian authorities to “end their violation of the right to life” and called on “all states to exercise universal jurisdiction over all Iranian officials reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility for crimes under international law and other grave violations of human rights.”

Iranians have flooded into the streets across the country to demand more freedoms and women’s rights, in the biggest threat to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

Security forces have unleashed a brutal crackdown on the women-led movement, killing more than 520 people and detaining over 18,000, activists say.

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