Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of three people who took part in protests in November 2019 following a steep rise in gas prices and growing frustration over the economy. One of the defendants says he was tortured to force him to confess to his crimes.
The Revolutionary Court of Tehran initially sentenced Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi to imprisonment, flogging, and execution. The trial, in February 2020, was presided over by Judge Abolghasem Salavati.
During the hearings, Amir Hossein Moradi repeatedly told the judge that his confessions had been extracted under pressure, threats, and torture and that he did not plead guilty to the original allegations.
Mohammad Rajabi also said that he did not accept the charges against him.
The men were tried in court on charges of "participating in destruction” and “setting fire to property as a means of attacking the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran" and sentenced to death.
Two other defendants, Mojgan Eskandari and a woman named only as Ms Shima, were tried at the same time on similar charges. Eskandari has been sentenced to life imprisonment but no verdict has yet been handed down to Ms. Shima.
Hundreds of people were arrested during the crackdown on protests in November 2019, and many groups have come before the courts charged with criminal damage and more serious national security-related charges.
One of the attorneys on the case, who asked not to be named, said that he and the two other lawyers on the case still have hope that the verdict can be overturned, despite the Supreme Court’s decision.