At dawn on Monday, December 12, 2022, authorities in Iran hanged the second detained protester Majid-Reza Rahnavard, 23, in Mashhad. The Judiciary’s Mizan news agency announced the execution of Rahnavard at Hor-e Ameli Street [in public].
Authorities arrested Majid-Reza Rahnavard on November 19 and severely tortured him, forcing him to make televised confessions. In a video aired by the state-run local TV channel, he was seen as his left hand was broken.
Mashhad prosecutor Mohammad-Hossein Dorudi demanded capital punishment under the charge of Moharebeh, waging war against God, on November 24 and referred the case to the Mashhad Revolutionary Court.
Notably, activists identified Seyyed Hadi Mansouri, Esmail Rahmani, and [aka] Ghannad as Mashhad Revolutionary Court “Judge,” “Mashhad Deputy Prosecutor,” and “Prosecutor’s Representative” involved in the state murder of Majid Reza Rahnavard.
On November 29, the court held a meeting and sentenced Rahnavard to death based on “confessions” of the accused, reports of intelligence and security apparatuses, and frequent demands by locals.
In the end, the regime hanged Rahnavard just 23 days after his detention. To justify this hasty execution and ban the victim from an appeal, the regime propaganda forged a video claiming he “wanted to be punished as soon as possible!”
Furthermore, contrary to authorities’ say that Rahnavard enjoyed a fair trial. At the same time, human rights activists reported he was deprived of choosing a lawyer and having an opportunity to provide a defense or demand an appeal.
Mullahs Try to Intimidate Society or Hide Basijis’ Panic?
The regime claims that Rahnavard fatally stabbed two members of the Revolutionary Guards Paramilitary Basij Force. “The execution of Majid-Reza Rahnavard was carried out to exercise order and security and to deal with rioters and lawbreakers,” said Provincial Judiciary chief Gholamali Sadeghi.
Observers say the hasty execution of Majid-Reza Rahnavard shows the regime’s concern about more defection among Basij agents. In other words, the continuation of protests and public backlash against oppressors caused significant erosion in regime forces.
The second state murder comes after the execution of Mohsen Shekari, 23, in Tehran on December 8. Authorities hanged Shekari for just “blocking a street” and “injuring a Basij agent.” The regime’s severe punishments prompted domestic and international outrage and condemnations.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, the UN Special Rapporteur Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Amnesty International, the U.S. Secretary of State, and foreign ministers of Germany, Canada, the UK, France, Norway, Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, Macedonia, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European Parliament Vice President, and the International Committee ‘In Search of Justice’ (ISJ) condemned the execution of Shekari.
Have the Protests Ended in Iran?
From day 1 of the protests—which citizens call a revolution; regime officials ceaselessly downplayed them. “Be careful not to be distracted by these issues. Do not let it stop you from attending to your main tasks and essential duties,” supreme leader Ali Khamenei “advised” officials on October 12.
Instead, the regime’s insistence on executions shows its incapable of quelling protests. Contrary to November 2019 protests, the regime avoided blind suppression in public, fearing the consequences.
“Despite numerous directives about the use of non-lethal weapons during the recent riots in the country and view of the enemy’s design to incite and intensify violence and assaults on-premises, military forces and the State Security Force to cause mass casualties, sometimes unwarranted and unjustified use of firearms by some units have been observed, which will lead to undesired results, such as increasing fatalities, intensifying unrest and providing propaganda fodder,” the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed the IRGC highly confidential document issued on October 11.
“Therefore, in order to prevent human casualties and further damage to the Islamic Revolution, the following must be implemented:
- Emphasis must be laid on obtaining intelligence and accurate prediction of possible gatherings and disturbances in order to take preventive measures and preemptive operations and prevent the formation of illegal gatherings and disturbances.
- The protection of police and military locations and headquarters, especially the locations close to the gatherings and riots (hotspots of unrest), should be fully assured, intensified, and strengthened. Necessary arrangements must be taken to deal with the possible attacks by rioters on these locations by using anti-riot non-lethal tools and equipment. Those using such weapons must be properly trained. This matter is to be continuously monitored.
- In cases when it is required to defend locations where rioters or armed people are infiltrating and entering them, only non-lethal weapons such as Winchester (with non-lethal plastic pellets) should be used as needed and by trained people.
- If there is no choice but to use firearms to defend military locations, these weapons should be used only by specific and experienced people and in a completely targeted manner.
- It is expected that the field commanders, taking into consideration the orders of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and following the directives of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, will act wisely and smartly in such a way that the human losses among our own forces, rioters and ordinary people (killed or wounded) would be minimized and no excuse would be provided to the enemy and hostile groups.”
In a nutshell, recent executions show that the regime’s plan for calming protests and normalizing the situation has failed. Khamenei and his judiciary chiefs began hanging detainees to prevent further demonstrations. However, the radicalization of the situation, which Khamenei had seriously avoided, would backfire on the regime.
In such circumstances, the mullahs have proven that condemnations would no longer prevent their atrocities and bloodshed. Therefore, the civilized world should step forward and recognize the Iranian people’s cause for overthrowing the regime.
In her broadcasting message addressing a U.S. Senate briefing on December 8, NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi emphasized that “The Iranian people and Resistance rely on their uprising and sacrifices to overthrow the regime.”
“The people of Iran required the United Nations, the European Union, their member states, and human rights advocates strongly condemn recent executions and take effective and concrete measures against the religious fascism ruling Iran,” she also highlighted the international community’s duties in support of the revolution in Iran.
“The embassies of this regime must be closed, and the diplomats and operatives of the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC must be expelled. Keeping silent and engaging with a regime that is a stain on contemporary humanity is tantamount to trampling upon human rights values.”
Mrs. Rajavi also declared “national mourning and protests over the executions of Majid-Reza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari, the heroes and martyrs of the Iranian people’s uprising.”
The Iranian people’s experience has shown that the regime only understands the language of power and firmness. According to activists, dozens of detained people still face Moharebeh charges and are at risk. The international community should take action to spare the lives of those who are including:
Prisoners Charged with Moharebeh in Tehran Province, the capital:
1-Mohammed Qobadlou/accused of corruption on earth/sentenced to death
2- Sahand Noor Mohammadzadeh/accused of Moharebeh/sentenced to death
3-Mohammed Broghni/accused of Moharebeh /sentenced to death
4-Akbar Ghaffari/accused of Moharebeh
5- Parham Parvari/accused of Moharebeh
6-Mahan Sadrat Madani/accused of Moharebeh
7-Saman Seidi/accused of Moharebeh/sentenced to death
8-Mohsen Rezazadeh Qaraqlou/accused in Moharebeh
9- Manuchehar Mehmannavaz/accused of Moharebeh/sentenced to death
10-Milad Armon/accused of assault leading to murder (Ekbatan town)
11- Behrad Hesari/accused of assault leading to murder (Ekbatan town)
12- Mehdi Jahani/accused of assault leading to murder (Ekbatan town)
13- Nastuh Nikkhah/accused of assault leading to murder (Ekbatan town)
14-Mohammed Pasandian/accused of assault leading to murder (Ekbatan town)
15- Abolfazl Mehri Hossein Haji/accused of opposing the regime
16- Saeed Shirazi/accused of corruption on earth
Prisoners Charged with Moharebeh in Alborz Province, Karaj
17-Hamid Qareh Hasanlu/accused of corruption on earth
18- Farzaneh Qareh Hasanlu/accused of corruption on earth
19- Reza Arya / accused of corruption on earth
20-Mohammed Mehdi Karami / accused of corruption on earth/sentenced to death
21-Ali Moazzami Gudarzi/ accused of corruption on earth
22-Behrad Alikenari/ accused of corruption on earth
23- Reza Shaker Zewardehi/ accused of corruption on earth
24-Javad Zargaran/ accused of corruption on earth
25-Mohammed Amin Akhlaghi/ accused of corruption on earth
26- Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini / accused of corruption on earth
27-Shayan Charani/ accused of corruption on earth
28- Mehdi Mohammadi/ accused of corruption on earth
29-Arin Farzam Nia/ accused of corruption on earth
30-Amir Mohammad Jafari/ accused of corruption on earth
31-Amin Mehdi Shokrolahi / accused of corruption on earth
Prisoners Charged with Moharebeh in Isfahan Province
32-Tomaj Salehi/ accused of corruption on earth
33- Saeed Yaqoubi/accused of Moharebeh
34-Saleh Mirhashmi/accused of Moharebeh
35-Amir Nasr-Azadani/accused of Moharebeh
Prisoners Charged with Moharebeh in Sistan & Baluchestan Province, Zahedan
36-Ali Rakhshani/accused of Moharebeh
37-Mohammed Rakhshani/accused of Moharebeh
Prisoners Charged with Moharebeh in West Azarbaijan Province, Khoy
38- Tohid Darvishi / Sentenced to death