Iran executes another prisoner detained during 2022 protests
According to a report on state television, Mohammad Qobadlu was executed after being sentenced for killing a policeman and injuring five others after he ran them over in his car during a rally in the town of Parand, near the capital of Tehran.
The TV report said the 23-year-old Qobadlu, who had confessed to his crime, had access to a lawyer during the trial. Qobadlu had appealed his death sentence, handed down by a lower court, but the Supreme Court later upheld the original verdict.
Qobadlu's execution was the ninth reported by the authorities since the protests started in the fall of 2022.
The monthslong unrest followed the September 16, 2022 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by Iran’s morality police allegedly because she improperly wore the mandatory hijab.
At least 529 people have been killed and scores of thousands of others have been detained in the demonstrations. The protests gradually died down in the early months of last year.
In December, Iran executed a bank guard convicted of fatally shooting a senior cleric last April.
Ayatollah Abbas Ali Soleimani, 77, was the most senior member of the clergy who was killed since the protests and the subsequent security crackdown on the demonstrators. The guard's motive for the shooting were not explained.
Excruciating sorrow was caught in this clip as the family of Mohammad Ghobadlou discovered the 23-year-old was hanged today.— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) January 23, 2024
This is not a drill. The Islamic Republic of Iran's relentless state-sanctioned killing spree extends beyond its borders, demanding an urgent and resolute… pic.twitter.com/t4QSE2bPWY
Though Shiite clergy have long held an important role in Iran, particularly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, discontent has increased in recent years during waves of protests over economic, political and civil rights issues.
In November, Iran hanged Milad Zhohrevand, 21, in the western city of Hamadan for shooting and killing a member of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard during the protests.