• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Iran Charges 11 Over Agent Basij’s Death, Basketball Team Skips Anthem

ByMary M. Ward

Nov 12, 2022

Iran’s radical justice has indicted 11 people for the murder of a member of the Basij security forces during unrest, state media reported on Saturday, as authorities sought to quell nine weeks of protests.

IRNA news agency said some of the 10 men and one woman were charged with ‘corruption on earth’, which carries the death penalty, for crimes leading to the death of a member of the pro-government volunteer militia Basij on November 3. in Karaj near Tehran.

Protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in vice police custody following her arrest for “inappropriate dress” mark one of the boldest challenges to the republic since the 1979 revolution. The women played a prominent role, waving and burning scarves enforced by strict dress codes.

Videos posted on social media reportedly showed the national basketball team refraining from singing the national anthem during a match with China in Tehran on Friday – widely seen as another show of athletes’ support for the protests .

The militant HRANA news agency said 336 protesters were killed in the unrest on Friday, including 52 minors. Thirty-nine members of the security forces were also killed, while nearly 15,100 were detained, he added.

The widely followed 1500tasvir Twitter account posted a video believed to be from overnight protests in the coastal town of Babolsar on the Caspian Sea, showing petrol bombs being thrown at a Basij base covered in pro-government banners.

Reuters could not independently verify the videos.

The Iranian government condemned the protests as riots fomented by adversaries, including the United States, and accused armed separatist groups of carrying out violence.

UN experts have urged Iran ‘to stop using the death penalty as a tool to crush protests’, noting that death penalty charges were brought against eight people in Tehran on October 29 .

Iranians from all walks of life took part in protests, with government opponents emboldened by what they saw as a series of demonstrations in support of Iranian athletes.

Earlier this week, videos posted on social media showed that the national water polo team failed to sing the national anthem during a competition in Thailand.

“Raise the Pressure”

On Friday, a cleric in the northwestern city of Urmia called during prayers to punish athletes who refrain from singing the national anthem, according to Iranian news agencies.

An Iranian archer says she didn’t notice her hijab falling off her head at an awards ceremony in Tehran, after a video emerged showing her dropping the headscarf in this which was also widely assumed to be a show of support for the protests. His statement was met with skepticism on social media.

The unrest has added to tensions in Iran’s ties with Western powers that have imposed sanctions on Iranian groups and individuals linked to the crackdown.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said he favors a new round of European Union sanctions next week.

“We want to continue to intensify the pressure on the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the political leadership,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.

“Here in Germany, hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens of Iranian descent are afraid for their loved ones. They are appalled and disgusted by what the mullahs’ regime is doing to the protesters. I am also shocked by the images that reach us every day ,” he said.

France said on Saturday that two more of its citizens were likely detained in Iran, bringing the total number of its nationals detained there to seven.

France lashed out at Iran on October 6, accusing it of “dictatorial practices” and taking its citizens hostage after a video emerged in which a French couple appeared to confess to spying.