Listen to Today's Edition
Iran executed a 23-year-old man this week, the second execution related to the anti-government protests that have been sweeping the Islamic Republic for months, the BBC reported.
Officials said Majidreza Rahnavard was hanged Monday in the city of Mashhad after a court convicted him of “enmity against God.” The court found the young man had stabbed to death two members of the paramilitary Basij Resistance Force, a volunteer force often deployed by authorities to suppress dissent.
State media showed a video “confession” of Rahnavard claiming that while he did not deny the attack, he did not remember the details because he had not been in the right state of mind.
Rahnavard’s execution is the second in less than a week but the only one where the body was publicly displayed afterward as a deterrent to protesters: On Thursday, authorities hanged Mohsen Shekari, who was convicted of “enmity against God” after being found to have attacked a Basij member with a machete in Tehran.
The mass demonstrations began in September after the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the notorious morality police. The police unit had detained the young woman for allegedly violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code.
The Iranian government has labeled the unrest as “riots” instigated by its foreign enemies, but analysts question whether the executions will deter protesters, who continue to hit the streets and demand the resignations of Iran’s ruling clerics.
Meanwhile, Western nations condemned the recent executions, with human rights organizations adding that Rahnavard’s confession was forced.
Following his hanging, the EU imposed a series of sanctions on Iran’s state media, army chiefs and regional commanders of the Revolutionary Guards over the repression of demonstrators.