Iran sentences five protesters to death over death of Basij member

Iran sentences five protesters to death over death of Basij member

Iran has sentenced five protesters to death for their alleged role in the killing of a member of the pro-regime Basij militia, the judiciary said on Tuesday, bringing to 11 the total number of people sentenced to death over the unrest sparked by Masha Amini’s death.

Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said 11 others, including three minors, were sentenced to “long-term imprisonment” for their alleged role in the death of Ruhollah Ajamian, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

The court rulings are not final and could be appealed, said Setayeshi.

According to state media, Ajamian was killed by a group of “rioters” – a term used by authorities to refer to anti-regime protesters – in the city of Karaj last month.

The Basij is a paramilitary arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iran typically deploys members of the Basij across the country when faced with protests to suppress them.

Iran has reported the deaths of several Basij members since the start of protests sparked by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Amini in mid-September.

Amini had been detained by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly not complying with the regime’s strict hijab rules.

Demonstrators have been calling for the downfall of the regime in the protests which have become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.

At least 448 people, including 60 children and 29 women, have been killed by security forces in the protests, according to Oslo-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR).