In Tehran, the Islamic Republic’s judiciary’s news website Mizan reported Monday that two individuals who were sentenced to death for blasphemy were executed, prompting angry reactions from international rights groups.
According to Mizan, Yousef Mehrdad, and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare were put to death for alleged crimes including blasphemy, insulting Islam, the prophet, and other sanctities. The website stated that the two individuals were running online anti-religion platforms dedicated to the ridiculing of Islam, promoting atheism and insults to sanctities.
The judiciary claimed that one of the now-deceased individuals confessed in March 2021 to publishing the content. Human rights groups note that such confessions are forced under duress by regime officials in prisons.
“Today’s execution of Yousef Mehrdad & Sadrollah Fazeli Zare for “apostasy” marks a shocking new low for Iran’s authorities & only furthers Iran’s pariah status. They were hanged solely for social media posts in a grotesque assault on the rights to life & freedom of religion,” said Amnesty International’s Iran Twitter Account.
The human rights organization explained that the two individuals were “hanged solely for social media posts in a grotesque assault on the rights to life and freedom of religion.”
Amnesty stated that without urgent international action, the Iran regime will “continue to deploy the death penalty to torment and terrorize the entire population, crush protests & other forms of dissent, and enforce silence and subservience through brute force.”
Since September 2022, under orders by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the regime in Tehran has increased executions of prisoners, political activists, and young Iranians via hangings.
Despite calls from human rights groups and the United Nations to stop the persecution and harassment of peaceful Iranian protesters and religious minorities, the regime continues to execute dissidents, facing no serious repercussions from the United States or the European Union (EU).