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IRANIAN rights activists have demanded urgent action to stop the execution of three young protesters who were arrested at the anti-government protests that swept the country last November.
Grave concerns have been raised after Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi had their death sentences ratified by Iran’s Supreme Court.
They were initially sentenced to imprisonment, public flogging and then execution by the Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court after being handed over to the Iranian authorities despite claiming political asylum in Turkey.
The Committee for the Defence of Iranian People’s Rights (Codir) warned that the trio were arrested in “dubious circumstances” with confessions extracted through torture by Iranian state security agents.
The young men were involved in the street protests that erupted on November 15 last year after the clerical regime announced a tripling of the price of petrol at a time when the Iranian economy was spiralling out of control.
Protests spread to at least 719 locations across Iran with a heavy-handed response from security services leaving thousands dead and at least 7,000 people taken into custody as the authorities struggled to assert control.
Mr Moradi, Mr Tamjidi and Mr Rajabi fled across the border to neighbouring Turkey, making their way from Van province to the capital Ankara.
They filed a claim for asylum and were told they would have to stay in a refugee camp for at least a year while their case was being processed. But soon after the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Ankra, the men were handcuffed and handed back to Iranian authorities.
Codir warned of a clear violation of their right to claim asylum under the Geneva Convention.
The trio were taken to the notorious Evin prison in the Iranian capital Tehran where they were allegedly tortured by intelligence services.
They were sentenced to death in what has been described as a sham trial presided over by Judge Abolghasem Salavati on charges of “participation in destruction and incitement against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
They denied the charges against them and said: “We were tired of injustice in the country, and we went to the street to protest.”
Codir has called for international protest and pressure from progressive and human rights organisations and for the immediate halt of the use of the death penalty against those prosecuted for exercising their rights to protest against dictatorship and oppression.
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