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Iran top court accepts protester“s appeal against death sentence


Iran’s Supreme Court has accepted a protester’s appeal against his death sentence for allegedly damaging public property during anti-government demonstrations, and sent his case back for review, the judiciary said on Saturday.

Noor Mohammadzadeh, 25, was arrested on Oct. 4, and sentenced to death two months later on the charge of “waging war against God” for allegedly trying to break a highway guardrail in Tehran and setting a rubbish bin on fire.

He rejected the accusations, saying he was forced to confess to his guilt and went on a hunger strike two weeks ago.

Iran has already executed two people involved in unrest that erupted in September after the death in custody of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

Amnesty International has said Iranian authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 26 others in what the campaign group has said is a push to intimidate protesters.

Iranian authorities have blamed Iran’s foreign enemies and their agents for orchestrating the disturbances.

“The Supreme Court has accepted the appeal of Sahand Noor Mohammadzadeh, one of the accused in the recent riots. His case has been sent to the same branch of the Revolutionary Court for review,” the judiciary’s Mizan news agency said on Twitter.

Last week, the Supreme Court accepted the death sentence appeal of rapper Saman Seydi Yasin but confirmed the same sentence against protester Mohammad Qobadloo.

Earlier this month it suspended the death sentence of protester Mahan Sadrat, who had been charged with various alleged offences including stabbing a security officer and setting fire to a motorcycle.

Iran hanged two protesters earlier this month: Mohsen Shekari, 23, who was accused of blocking a main road in September and wounding a member of the paramilitary Basij force with a knife; and Majid Reza Rahnavard, 23, who was accused of stabbing two Basij members to death.

Rahnavard was publicly hanged from a construction crane.

Rights group HRANA said that, as of Friday, 508 protesters had been killed, including 69 minors. It said 66 members of the security forces had also been killed. As many as 19,199 protesters are believed to have been arrested, it said.

Iranian officials have said that up to 300 people, including members of the security forces, had lost their lives in the unrest.