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Iranian writer mentioned sentenced to demise after urging peace in Israel TV interview

Iran has sentenced a dissident writer to demise on “espionage” prices after he gave an interview earlier within the yr to an Israeli tv channel, opposition-affiliated media reported Thursday.

Iran Worldwide mentioned that Mehdi Bahman was arrested in October after talking with Channel 13.

The report mentioned a Revolutionary Court docket had handed the sentence. In latest days not less than 11 individuals have been sentenced to demise for his or her position in protests and greater than 100 face the demise penalty, based on opposition teams.

Whereas Bahman was arrested after the outbreak of protests, his interview with Channel 13 was given in April 2022 after he approached an Israeli lady to have one in every of his books translated into Hebrew.

Within the interview, Bahman criticized the regime in Tehran and the imposition of Islamic regulation and known as for normalization between Israel and Iran.

He advised Channel 13 that he was not afraid of being arrested for speaking to an Israeli channel.

Iran Worldwide mentioned Bahman was an writer and an illustrator who labored in direction of non secular coexistence. Lately he had labored with dissident Shia cleric Masoumi Tehrani to create artworks containing symbols from numerous religions and had given them as items to leaders of the minority Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, Sunni Islam, Mandaean Sabian, and Baha’i faiths in Iran .

The report mentioned Tehrani was additionally arrested shortly after Bahman. There was no phrase on his destiny.

A number of different opposition-affiliated media retailers additionally reported the arrest. However there was no official affirmation of the sentence from Iranian officers or state media.

Iran accuses Iran Worldwide, a Persian-language satellite tv for pc information channel as soon as majority-owned by a Saudi nationwide, of stoking latest nationwide protests which have escalated into lethal violence.

Iran Worldwide, for its half, describes itself as an “unbiased information group offering uncensored, correct and unbiased information to a Farsi-speaking viewership inside and out of doors Iran.” It says it has “no affiliation or affiliation” with any political group or any group.

Protests have gripped Iran because the September 16 demise in custody of Iranian-Kurdish Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the nation’s strict gown code for girls.

Iran has sought to crack down on demonstrations and deter protests by imposing harsh punishments, together with the demise penalty, with some public executions going down.

At the very least 100 Iranians arrested in additional than 100 days of nationwide protests face prices punishable by demise, the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) mentioned earlier this week.

In a report Tuesday, IHR recognized 100 detainees who face potential capital punishment, together with not less than 11 already sentenced to demise.

5 detainees on the IHR checklist are girls.

The report mentioned a lot of them have restricted entry to authorized illustration.

“By issuing demise sentences and executing a few of them, they (the authorities) wish to make individuals go residence,” mentioned IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

“It has some impact,” he advised AFP, however “what we have noticed normally is extra anger in opposition to the authorities.”

“Their technique of spreading worry by means of executions has failed.”

An image obtained from the Iranian Mizan Information Company on December 12, 2022, reveals the general public execution of Majidreza Rahnavard, in Iran’s Mashhad metropolis. (Mizan Information/AFP)

In an up to date demise toll issued Tuesday, IHR mentioned 476 protesters have been killed to date.

Iran’s high safety physique in early December gave a toll of greater than 200 individuals killed, together with safety officers.

At the very least 14,000 individuals have been arrested because the nationwide unrest started, the United Nations mentioned final month.

Majidreza Rahnavard, 23, was hanged in public from a crane on December 12 after being sentenced by a court docket in Mashhad for killing two members of the safety forces with a knife.

4 days earlier, Mohsen Shekari, additionally 23, had been executed for wounding a member of the safety forces.

The judiciary has mentioned that 9 others have been handed demise sentences over the protests, of whom two have been allowed trials.

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