Dec 24 (Reuters) – Iran’s Supreme Court accepted an appeal by rapper Zaman Seidi Yassin against his death sentence, while upholding the same sentence against another protester, the justice department said on Saturday.
Yasin, an ethnic Kurd who has spoken out about inequality, oppression and unemployment, has been accused of trying to kill security forces, setting fire to a rubbish bin and firing three shots into the sky during anti-government protests, which he denies.
Yasin’s mother pleaded in a video last week for help to save her son. “Where in the world have you seen the life of a loved one thrown in the trash?” He said in a video posted on social media.
The court initially said it had accepted the appeals of Yassin and another protester, but in a subsequent statement the Justice Department’s Mizan news agency said only Yassin’s appeal had been accepted.
“The public relations of the Supreme Court of Iran has corrected its message: ‘Mohammed Kobatloo’s appeal has not been accepted… Saman Seidi’s appeal has been accepted by the Supreme Court,'” the agency said.
Explaining the decision in its original report, it said it had referred the case back to the court for retrial, citing deficiencies in its investigation.
Gobatloo was accused of killing a police agent and injuring five others in his car during the protest.
Unrest erupted across Iran in mid-September after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman arrested by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.
Late on Saturday, the 100th day of the protests, videos posted on social media showed overnight demonstrations in areas including the capital Tehran, the northeastern city of Mashhad, western Karaj of Tehran and Sanandaj, the center of Kurdistan province. Northwest.
“Death to the Dictator” and “Death to (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei!” Dozens of protesters braved the rain and snow to chant slogans including Reuters could not immediately verify the videos.
Saturday’s announcement comes after the Supreme Court stayed the death sentence of protester Mahan Chatram 10 days ago. He has been accused of stabbing a security officer and setting fire to a motorcycle.
Iran executed two protesters earlier this month: Mohsen Shekhari, 23, accused of blocking a main road and stabbing a member of the paramilitary Basij force in September, and Majid Reza Rahnavard, 23, who was stabbed to death. Two members of the Basij, and a construction crane were publicly hanged.
Amnesty International called on the international community to pressure Iran to halt Qobadloo’s execution and “not allow Iran’s death machine to claim another victim while the world’s attention is on celebrating the festive season”.
Amnesty says Iranian authorities are trying to execute at least 26 people in what it calls “fake trials designed to intimidate participants in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran”.
It said all those facing the death penalty were denied the right to an adequate defense and access to lawyers of their choice. Rights groups say defendants should rely on state-appointed lawyers.
As of Friday, 506 protesters, including 69 minors, had been killed, according to rights group HRANA. 66 members of the security forces were also killed. 18,516 protesters are believed to have been arrested.
Officials say up to 300 people, including security forces, have died in the unrest.
Report from Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Philippa Fletcher, David Holmes and Nick MacPhee
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