TEHRAN: The death sentence for six opposition activists arrested in protests after last year’s disputed presidential election in Iran have been confirmed, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said Saturday.
The six were accused of belonging to the exiled and outlawed People’s Mujahedeen, the opposition group the Islamic republic’s regime calls “the hypocrites.” Three were arrested after opposition protests during the Shiite mourning holiday of Ashura last December, Dolatabadi said, naming them as “Ahmad Daneshpour Moghadam, Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam and Alireza Ghanbari.” “Their death sentences have been confirmed, but they have asked to be pardoned,” the Fars news agency quoted Dolatabadi as saying.
It quoted the prosecutor as saying the death penalty for the other three, Mohammad Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghai who were arrested in September last year, had also been confirmed. Dolatabadi had announced in January that 10 people arrested during opposition protests that followed the re-election last June of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been sentenced to hang. On January 28, Iran hanged two men convicted of being Mohareb (enemies of God), in the first executions of dissidents since the post-poll protests erupted.
They “belonged to the monarchist group Tondar (the Kingdom Assembly of Iran). During their trials they confessed to obtaining explosives and planning to assassinate officials,” Dolatabadi said at the time. The authorities arrested an estimated 4,000 people including journalists and reformist politicians in a massive crackdown in the weeks after the election.
Stiff jail terms have been handed down to several people convicted of taking part in the unrest, although some have been released on bail pending possible appeals. Last Sunday Iran also hanged five militants, including a Kurdish woman, convicted of bombing government offices and a gas pipeline to Turkey and described as being Mohareb, state media reported.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 16th, 2010.