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Society & Culture

Iran Says 2022 Protest Supporter's Death Sentence Can be Appealed

May 8, 2024
2 min read
Mahmoud Mehrabi's sister: "My brother was sentenced to death after being tortured."
Mahmoud Mehrabi's sister: "My brother was sentenced to death after being tortured."

The Islamic Republic's judiciary has announced that the death sentence handed to political prisoner Mahmoud Mehrabi can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Iran. But it added that the defendant has "52 private plaintiffs" against him.

On Tuesday, May 7, the judiciary-affiliated Mizan News Agency claimed that, during the 2022 nationwide protests following the death of Mahsa Amini, Mehrabi had posted controversial material on social media platforms. The material ranged from "instructions on how to use handmade weapons, calls to destroy public property" to "inciting people to riot and carnage and insulting the sacred," it said.

According to the news agency, "52 private plaintiffs" have also complained against him for "spreading lies."

In a video posted earlier, Mahmoud Mehrabi's sister, Maryam Mehrabi, said that her brother was sentenced to death just for being a cyberspace activist even though nobody's nose had been bloodied and no finger had been injured.

She said that her brother had supported people in the "Woman, Life, Freedom" movement and was sentenced to death because the judge had not observed any sign of remorse on his face.

A source told IranWire that the charges against Mehrabi are all trumped up, as he was merely exposing the financial and moral misconduct of Mobarakeh City Council members and their exorbitant bonuses. 

According to the source, all the so-called "private plaintiffs" against Mehrabi are affiliated with the government or hold roles, including security positions, in the Isfahan province.

Mehrabi is a 36-year-old electrical engineering graduate from Isfahan's Allameh Majlesi University. 

According to human rights sources, Mehrabi has been sleeping on the bare floor of Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan. Last year, despite suffering a hernia caused by beatings, prison authorities denied Mehrabi the chance to undergo necessary surgery.

But when a distressing audio recording surfaced showing his mother highlighting his grave condition, the authorities quickly transported him to Al-Zahra Hospital in Isfahan. He was promptly sent back to prison after undergoing a surgical procedure.

In July of 2023, Mahmoud Mehrabi was officially indicted with 187 charges by the second investigation branch of Isfahan's Public Prosecutor's Office and the Mobarakeh Revolutionary Court.

The charges against him include "threat," "spreading falsehoods," "defamation," "propaganda against the system," "acts of sedition and corruption on Earth," and "insulting the dignity or causing harm to others by disseminating private or family audio, images or videos without their consent."

As of now, the Islamic Republic has executed at least nine people who had been arrested in the course of the 2022 nationwide protests. These include Mohsen ShekariMajid Reza RahnavardMohammad Mahdi Karami, Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi, Saeed Yaqoubi, Milad Zohrehvandand Mohammad Ghobadlou. Several other protesters are currently on the death row as well.

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