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Iranian women political prisoners urge end to protester executions

Thirty women political prisoners in Iran, including a Franco-Iranian academic and the daughter of a former president, on Sunday demanded an end to the executions of protesters in the country.

(FILES) A file picture obtained by AFP outside Iran shows the scene of a protest for Mahsa Amini, a woman who reportedly died after being arrested by the Islamic republic’s “morality police”, in Tehran on September 20, 2022. – Demonstrations have been less frequent in recent weeks in Iran, but the protest remains alive after four months of protests, despite the regime’s fierce repression which has resulted in hundreds of deaths and four executions. (Photo by – / AFP)

Thirty women political prisoners in Iran, including a Franco-Iranian academic and the daughter of a former president, on Sunday demanded an end to the executions of protesters in the country.

“We, the political and ideological prisoners in the women’s ward of Evin Prison, demand an end to the execution of protesters and an end to unjust sentences of prisoners in Iran,” they said in a petition.

The women inmates said they had been “sentenced to a total of 124 years in prison through unfair and non-transparent procedures, which is worth a few generations of human life”.

Despite coming from different religious and political backgrounds, “we have come together to say ‘no’ to execution. We defend people’s right to live in justice.”

The signatories included Franco-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah, arrested in June 2019 and later sentenced to five years in prison for undermining national security, allegations her family has strongly denied.

Another is former lawmaker Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was sentenced to five years behind bars in January for “collusion against the security of the country”.

Niloufar Bayani, a former representative of the UN Environment Programme in Iran who was handed 10 years in jail in 2020 for “conspiring with America as a hostile government”, also signed.

Iran erupted into protests in September, following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested for allegedly violating the Islamic republic’s strict dress rules.

According to Norway-based group Iran Human Rights, at least 481 people have been killed in the crackdown and at least 109 people are facing execution in protest-related cases, in addition to the four already put to death.