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Iran, August 23, 2020

Iran Convicts Fourteen Activists While Those Who Killed Protesters Remain Free

Original source

Radio Farda

A Revolutionary Court in Iran has ruled against fourteen activists who had protested mismanagement and corruption in the clergy-dominated country last November. Some of the protesters are sentenced to one to five years in jail.

Announcing the verdicts, a Telegram channel in Iran reported on Saturday, August 22, that prominent pro-reform political activist, Mehdi Mahmoudian, was sentenced to five years in prison, while his comrades, former members of Iran's parliament, Ali Shakouri Rad and Mohsen Armin, the son of an imprisoned dissident, Mohammad Hossein Karroubi, Qorban Behzadian Nejad, and a former Tehran city councilor Ms. Sediqeh Vasmaqi, were each sentenced to one year behind bars.

In a statement in 2019, 77 political activists had called for, "The indiscriminate firing of a rifle procured through public treasury to defend ordinary and unarmed citizens who poured into the streets to express their protest and anger, is a crime--- a crime that the law and the judiciary should not hesitate for a moment in pursuing its initiators, commanders, and perpetrators."

The widespread mid-November protests that rocked the Islamic Republic in more than 100 cities and 28 out of 31 provinces of Iran were triggered by an overnight three-fold increase in gasoline prices in the oil-rich country.

In an unprecedented violent response, the Islamic Republic security forces backed by Special Units, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps members, and plainclothesmen stepped in and brutally suppressed the uprising.

However, the Islamic Republic's authorities have not yet officially announced the death toll related to the riots. Nonetheless, Reuters says police and other security forces indiscriminately killed at least 1,500 people during the four-day-long protest rallies.

Mahmoudian who received the longest sentence believes that he received four additional years because of his call for holding a "candle-lit" gathering to pay homage to the victims of a Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) passenger plane that was downed by the IRGC missiles on January 8 over Tehran, killing all 176, including several children, onboard.

It took the Islamic Republic 72 hours to admit its responsibility for downing the doomed plane.

Seven months after the disaster, the Islamic Republic's judicial and military authorities have not yet published any report identifying and prosecuting the perpetrator and others responsible for firing the deadly missiles.