Mohsen Shekari: Iranian rapper’s execution ignites global outrage

Mohsen Shekari: Iranian rapper’s execution ignites global outrage
International organisations including the UN and Amnesty have condemned Mohsen Shekari's execution, while several western nations have imposed sanctions against individuals linked to Iran's judiciary and prison system.
2 min read
10 December, 2022
Mohsen Shekari was hanged by the Iranian government on Thursday [Horacio Villalobos-Corbis/Corbis via Getty]

Iran's execution of Mohsen Shekari, a rapper who had participated in the country's ongoing protests, has been widely condemned by the international community. 

Shekari, aged 23, had been accused of blocking a street and wounding a paramilitary during the early phase of the pro-democracy protests in mid-September. His killing was the first known execution over the protests that have shaken the regime.

The United Nations have led the condemnations of the killing, with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights saying that "executions following unfair trials constitute an arbitrary deprivation of life."

UN experts also said that they are afraid for the lives of Iranian artists "who have been indicted on charges carrying the death penalty."

Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said that the rights group was "horrified" by the execution.

"The shocking way Mohsen Shekari’s trial was fast-tracked through Iran’s judicial system without allowing him the chance of a meaningful trial and appeal process is yet another illustration of the fact that the authorities are resorting to the death penalty as a weapon of political repression," she said. "The clear aim is to instil fear among the public in a desperate attempt to cling to power and end the popular uprising."

Several Western nations announced a slew of sanctions against the Iranian government and institutions linked to the regime in response to the execution.

The United Kingdom announced sanctions against ten people linked to Iran’s judiciary and prison system. 

These include "six individuals linked to the Revolutionary Courts that have been responsible for prosecuting protesters with egregious sentences including the death penalty," according to Deutsche Welle

Two out of the ten are former directors of Iran’s notorious Evin prison. 

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Canada has announced sanctions against 67 people, including members of Iran’s judiciary for "gross and systematic human rights violations."

Nationwide protests erupted across Iran after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini on 16 September. They are widely perceived to represent one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.