News : Insider
- Published: Wednesday, 22 July 2020
Given the Iranian people’s unified voice against the execution of three protesters, who were arrested during the nationwide protests in November 2019, the judiciary temporarily retreated from practicing the sentence. Afterward, on July 20, Babak Paknia, lawyer of one of the protesters, announced that the regime had halted the punishment.
“We conveyed a request (for a retrial) to the Supreme Court and they have accepted it. We hope the verdict will be overturned,” Paknia said.
Notably, the Iranian regime pursues to imply a space of fear and suffocation in society by hanging more persons under different excuses. In this context, the government tries to curb further protests by executing youths involved in November demonstrations.
After the humiliating retreat, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, who has built his career on the massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, attempted to intimidate the society once again. “Our redline is chaos and unrest in the country,” said Raisi in a meeting of the judiciary’s supreme council on July 20.“They cannot break the will of the judiciary,” he added.
#IranProtests— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) July 20, 2020
While #Iran has harshly been hit by #coronavirus & the lives of millions of people are at risk, according to President Hassan Rouahni, in a meeting of Judiciary's Supreme Council, judiciary's chief Ebrahim Raisi said, "Our redline is chaos & unrest in the country." pic.twitter.com/L6OLjdzx2u
In such circumstances, the regime tries to make citizens indifferent about the issue through vague and contradictory remarks. However, officials are also weighing the society’s readiness for practicing the death penalty against protesters. They are also concerned about igniting another round of protests.
For instance, judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmaili initially rejected the matter and, in his press conference, stated that he had not seen the sentence. Later, on July 14, state-run media reported that the Supreme Court had upheld the death penalty for three detained “rioters.”
The next day, the Fars news agency, affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), reported that according to article 447, Raisi has announced that the sentence will be subject to a retrial and the death penalty has been suspended. Just two hours later, the Mizan news agency, affiliated to the judiciary, denied Fars’s reporting. “According to article 447, Raisi can resume trial in cases where offenders’ attorneys issue an appeal.”
Additionally, the mullahs’ initially claimed that the main crime of these three individuals is stick-up, and they deserve the death sentence. Later, judiciary officials said the crime was committed with weapons other than firearms. However, the defendants’ attorneys eventually announced they had seen the dossier and there was no word about stick-up. Of course, they added nothing more due to the “sensitivity of the issue.”
In fact, Iranian authorities have been placed in a harsh dilemma. On the one hand, they view further escalation in crackdown measures as the main method to maintain their dictatorship. Simultaneously, they are concerned about provoking another uprising by their own hands.
It is worth noting that the people of Iran are exposed to intense economic pressures. They see the authorities generously donate their country’s national resources in the line of foreigners’ interests. The population is witness to the mullahs’ determination to kill those protest gasoline price hikes while sending a gasoline flotilla to Venezuela.
“There is hope that the judiciary heard the people’s peaceful voice and temporarily halted the execution of these young protesters, based on national interests… We definitely should not consider the halt to executions as a sign of the judiciary’s retreat. The relationship between the government and society should not be defined with lose-win terms,” Elias Hazrati, editor-in-chief of the state-run Etemad daily, wrote on July 20.
He also shed light on his concerns about the regime’s real opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). “They are in ambush to make the relations between officials and citizens hostile and full of the imbroglio. They were not unsuccessful in this context,” he added.
“Given the sensitive status quo, conventional wisdom is to avoid practicing any issue that inflames the society’s quiet atmosphere and does not place the country on the verge of a new crisis,” he concluded.
#IranProtests— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) July 21, 2020
"People will sack us from the parliament and sack authorities from the government. It won't take much time. Why have you closed your eyes and ears, and don't pay attention?" said Iranian MP from Zahedan distraction, SE #Iran, Hosseinali Shahryari on July 19. pic.twitter.com/r0RsjnMnKh
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