Today: New Demonstration of Horror in Tehran; Two Men Hanged Publicly 35 Days After Being Arrested, One Man Hanged in Isfahan

Jan. 20, 2013, 6:59 a.m.
Iran Human Rights, January 20: Two young men were hanged publicly in Tehran early this morning. The young men have been identified as "Alireza Mafiha" and "Mohammad Ali Sarvari", 20 years old. They were arrested after mugging a man on a Tehran street on December 1, 2012. A video of the episode was posted on YouTube. It showed four young men mugging a man and one of them was holding a knife. The young men were arrested two weeks later, charged by a Tehran court with "Moharebeh" (Waging war against God) and "Corruption on earth", and sentenced to death. The death sentences were carried out publicly early this morning. One of the young men was quoted saying, "I know what I have done is wrong, but I didn’t think the punishment would be death." Mehr, a state-run news agency reported that the dead bodies were kept hanging from the crane for "17 minutes". Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns today’s public hangings. The spokesperson of IHR, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: "Today’s executions were a pure demonstration of terror by the Iranian authorities. Iranian authorities are the main cause of the promotion of violence among Iranian civil society." Commenting on the recent public hangings in Iran, Amiry-Moghaddam said: ”In absence of popular support, the Iranian regime is dependent on fear to survive. Public executions are used as an instrument to spread fear among the young people to prevent public protests. The new wave of public executions in Iran indicates that the regime has begun preparing for the June 2013 Presidential election. By spreading fear among society and terrorizing young people, Iran’s Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei is hoping to avoid a repetition of the 2009 post-election protests." One prisoner was hanged in the prison of Isfahan: ISNA, a state-run Iranian news agency reports one prisoner, identified as "Mohsen K", was hanged in Isfahan Prison. The prisoner was convicted of "Possession of 530 grams of crack," said the report.