In the weeks leading-up to the June 18 Presidential election in Iran, Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi silently signed the implementation order for four executions. These executions were implemented while Raisi was registering as a Presidential candidate.
“Change” and “youthfulness” are the slogans of Raisi’s campaign for the election. However, Iranian activists say that Raisi showed what he meant by “change” and “youthfulness” with these executions.
Execution of Iranian Baluch Mehran Narouei
At dawn on Monday, May 17, authorities hanged Mehran Narouei, 34, in Isfahan Prison. Narouei, an ethnic Iranian Baluch, had been kept on death row for five years. The judiciary had alleged him of drug-related charges. However, despite authorities prior claims about the suspension of drug-related execution penalties, the government executed Narouei.
Since a long while ago, international human rights organization like Amnesty International had sounded the alarm over his imminent execution.
During the interrogation period, he had reportedly been deprived of access to an attorney. He had a bachelor’s degree in political science. His death sentence had been upheld by the Supreme Court in 2016, meaning he had been on death row for five years.
Execution of Amir Bayati in Shiraz
At dawn on Sunday, May 16, Amir Bayati, the son of Habib, was hanged at Shiraz Prison in Fars province. The judiciary had accused him of murder charge.
It is said that he had unintentionally committed the crime during a street conflict. As of this report, state-run media had not to reveal this execution.
Execution of Former Conscript Jamal Mohammadi
At dawn on Sunday, May 16, authorities hanged former conscript Jamal Mohammadi for murder. According to a source familiar with the story, during a oral conflict with his superior, Mohammadi lost control and killed him at a barrack in the western province of Ilam.
In this case, state-run media also avoided covering the news, and the victim’s family were only informed and attended the prison to witness the execution.
Execution of Blacksmith Ali-Morad Zabihi
At dawn on Saturday, May 15, another inmate Ali-Morad Zabihi was executed for drug-related charges in Qazvin, the west of Tehran. According to local reports, he was a blacksmith in the Malayer district.
Four years ago, the State Security Forces detained him for transferring methamphetamine. To downplay Raisi’s bloody background, state-run media avoided covering the news.
In this context, the judiciary under Raisi has executed at least 25 inmates since the beginning of new Persian year on March 21. Notably, many executions are implemented silently, according to human rights groups. However, his department has almost hanged one inmate each two days.
During his Presidential campaign in May 2017, President Hassan Rouhani described Raisi to be an individual whose knowledge is only about executions and imprisonment. “Our people would once again announce that they do not want those who only understand execution and prison in the past 38 years,” he said.
Furthermore, on Sunday, May 16, Iranian netizens launched a tweetstorm with “#رئیسی_جلاد۶۷” shedding light on the brutal record of Raisi in the past 42 years. They mentioned his leading role in extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. They also pointed to the rise in executions since Raisi took the office as Judiciary Chief and called for a boycott of the election.
“Ebrahim Raisi was one of the most influential members of 1988 Massacre. He was responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners,” wrote Mona Dolati, an Iranian interior architect in exile.
— Mona Dolati (@DolatiMona) May 16, 2021
“Raisi will always be remembered as a butcher and henchman of 1988,” wrote Afshin Motevalli, a student at the University of Oslo.
— Afshin Motevalli (@Amotevalli) May 16, 2021
“During the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, Raisi was a member of the ‘Death Commission,’ a group of so-called judges who sentenced the prisoners to death in minutes-long trials,” wrote Peymaneh Shafi, a n Iranian computer engineer in Northern California.
During the #1988massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, Raisi was a member of the “Death Commission,” a group of so-called judges who sentenced the prisoners to death in minutes-long trials.
— Peymaneh Shafi (@peymaneh123) May 16, 2021
“Ebrahim Raisi, Iran regime’s judiciary chief and now the sham presidential election candidate in Iran, played a major role during the summer of 1988 executions of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly PMOI/MEK members and supporters,” wrote Nasser Sharif, the president of California Society for Democracy in Iran.
Ebrahim Raisi, Iran regime's judiciary chief and now the sham presidential election candidate in #Iran, played a major role during the summer of 1988 executions of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly PMOI/MEK members and supporters.#رئیسی_جلاد۶۷ pic.twitter.com/qNyMPv0O8j
— Nasser Sharif (@NasserSharif1) May 16, 2021
The tweetstorm about Raisi’s crimes became the second-most trending topic in Persian with more than 130,000 tweets and retweets within several hours.
A tweetstorm targeting Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s current Judiciary Chief who was responsible for the #1988Massacre, became the 2nd-most trending topic in Persian.
— M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) May 19, 2021