Iran: Execution of 3 Protestors Suspended Following Mass Online Campaign

July 20, 2020, 4:09 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHR); July 20, 2020: In response to the mass online campaign against the death penalty, lawyers for Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeed Tamjidi issued a joint statement, announcing that a request for retrial had been accepted by the Supreme Court. The three protesters arrested at the November 2019 nationwide demonstrations, were sentenced to death while their lawyers had no access to their case file until July 15th.

Speaking on Monday, July 20, Ebrahim Raisi, the head of the Islamic Republic's judiciary, claimed that public pressure played no role in the judiciary's decisions, without directly referring to the suspension of the sentences. He called what he claimed to be "propaganda and hysteria", ineffective.

Mahmood Amiry Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights, said: "The #اعدام نکنید (Don’t execute) campaign and the ensued media attention, provoked the international community’s reactions and increased the political cost of such sentences for the government. This shows that contrary to what government officials would have us believe, people have the power to make a difference. Through more unity and participation, each one of us can be effective and make change possible.”

On Sunday, July 19, four lawyers representing Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeed Tamjidi issued a statement that read: "We are very hopeful that the verdicts will be overturned, and on that basis, submitted a request for the application of Article 474 to the head of the Supreme Court. According to the information received, fortunately this request was accepted by the Chief Justice and the case was referred to one of the branches of the Supreme Court for re-examination." According to the lawyers, the planned execution of the three protestors has been suspended until the determination of the judicial process.

On July 10, Mostafa Nili, the lawyer representing Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi, tweeted: "Unfortunately, the death sentences of my clients have been upheld by the Supreme Court." This sparked a mass online protest by Iranians that saw the “don’t execute” hashtag trend worldwide for hours.

The unprecedented spread of the Farsi hashtag provoked a reaction from the international community, including UN human rights experts, who announced their support for the mass demand.

Amirhossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeed Tamjidi were arrested for participating in the November 2019 protests and sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court.