Iran has been rocked by weeks of protests after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.
Iran’s judiciary chief has ordered judges to hand down harsh sentences for “the main elements of the riots” as protests continue over the death of Mehsa Amini, a young woman who died in custody nearly a month ago,
“I have instructed our judges to avoid showing unnecessary sympathy for the main elements of these riots and to pass harsh sentences on them while dismissing the least culpable,” the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency quoted Gholamhossein Mohseni-Eji as saying on Thursday. .
Mohseni Ejei had previously ordered courts across the country to expedite the follow-up of detainees’ cases.
The protests began in mid-September after Amini, 22, died while in the custody of Iran’s so-called “moral police” over an alleged violation of the country’s strict dress code for women.
Last week’s report from the medical examiner’s office did not specifically name Amini’s cause of death, but said she underwent surgery for a brain tumor when she was eight, and no blows were made to her head or other organs.
Amini’s family refuted the authorities’ account that she was not beaten, and also questioned the veracity of the forensic report.
Her death sparked the biggest protests in Iran since 2019, when a sudden move to ration fuel and raise prices sparked unrest.
And Majed Al-Marhamadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Security and Police Affairs, warned last week that “anyone who is arrested at the scene of the riots will not be released under any circumstances until the date of his trial, which will take place quickly. He will issue firm and deterrent sentences.”
So far, dozens of people have been indicted in connection with committing “riots”, while strict restrictions continue on the Internet.
On Thursday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi accused the United States of resorting to a “policy of destabilization” against Iran.
“Following America’s failure with militarism and sanctions, Washington and its allies resorted to a failed policy of destabilization,” Raisi said at a summit in Kazakhstan, according to his office.
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