Iran: Execution of second protester exposes the regime’s vulnerability
Authorities in Iran hanged the second detained protester, Majid-Reza Rahnavard, 23, in Mashhad at dawn on Monday, December 12, 2022. The execution of Rahnavard at Hor-e Ameli Street was announced publicly by the Judiciary’s Mizan news agency. On November 19, he was arrested and severely tortured, forcing him to make televised confessions. On November 24, Mashhad prosecutor Mohammad-Hossein Dorudi demanded capital punishment for “Moharebeh,” or “waging war against God,” and referred the case to the Mashhad Revolutionary Court.
In the end, Rahnavard was hanged only 23 days after his arrest. To justify the hasty execution and prevent the victim from filing an appeal, regime propaganda fabricated a video in which he claimed he “wanted to be punished as soon as possible!”
Furthermore, contrary to what the authorities claim, Rahnavard received a fair trial. At the same time, human rights activists reported that he was denied the right to choose a lawyer and the right to present a defense or request an appeal.
Mullah’s attempt to instill fear in society
Rahnavard is accused of fatally stabbing two members of the Revolutionary Guards’ paramilitary Basij Force. “The execution of Majid-Reza Rahnavard was carried out to maintain order and security, as well as to deal with rioters and lawbreakers,” Provincial Judiciary Chief Gholamali Sadeghi said.
According to observers, Majid-Reza Rahnavard’s hasty execution demonstrates the regime’s concern about more defections among Basij agents. In other words, the continuation of protests and public outrage against oppressors weakened regime forces significantly.
The second state murder follows the December 8 execution of Mohsen Shekari, 23, in Tehran. Shekari was hanged for simply “blocking a street” and “injuring a Basij agent.” The regime’s harsh punishments sparked national and international outrage and condemnation.
However, the radicalization of the situation, which Khamenei had hoped to avoid, would be disastrous for the regime.
In such circumstances, the mullahs have demonstrated that condemnations are no longer effective in stopping their atrocities and bloodshed. As a result, the civilized world should take a stand and recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the regime.
On December 8, Iranian opposition President-elect Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) stated in a broadcast message to a U.S. Senate briefing that “the Iranian people and Resistance rely on their uprising and sacrifices to overthrow the regime.”
“The people of Iran demanded that the United Nations, the European Union, their member states, and human rights advocate strongly condemn recent executions and take effective and concrete measures against the religious fascism that rules Iran,” she said, emphasizing the international community’s responsibilities in support of Iran’s revolution.
“This regime’s embassies must be closed, and diplomats and operatives from the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC must be expelled. Keeping silent and cooperating with a regime that is a blot on modern humanity is tantamount to violating human rights values.”
Mrs. Rajavi also declared “national mourning and protests over the executions of Majid-Reza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari, the Iranian people’s uprising heroes and martyrs.”
The Iranian people’s experience has demonstrated that the regime only understands power and firmness. Activists claim that dozens of detainees are still facing Moharebeh charges and are in danger. The international community should take action to save the lives of those facing execution.