Majidreza Rahnavard, publicly executed in Mashhad, Iran, December 12, 2022

China and Gulf States Deliver A Gut Punch to Iran’s Leaders

UPDATES: Iran Protests — Strikes Across the Country


Iran’s authorities have surpassed Turkey’s as the world’s leading jailer of journalists.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that at least 62 media staff are now imprisoned in Iran after a series of arrests during nationwide protests.

The figure would be even higher if 21 journalists had not been released on bail.

CPJ notes that the record number of imprisoned female journalists — 22 of the 49 arrested reporters since September 16 are women – shows “the prominent role they’ve played in covering this women-led uprising”. Two of the women, Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, face death sentences after breaking the news of Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody sparked the protests.

With Iranian Kurdistan — where Amini was born and lived — at the center of the demonstrations, at least nine Kurdish journalists are among those in detention.

The report summarizes:

Sources told CPJ of a pattern of predawn raids on reporters’ homes, with police seizing their devices and sometimes beating those they took into custody.

Often, their coverage disappears too. Many of their social media accounts – a key publishing platform in a country where most media are state-controlled – have vanished, either shut down by the government or preemptively deleted by journalists fearing retaliation for their reporting.


Women political prisoners in Tehran have published a letter of concern about the executions of protesters and as called for an end to the regime’s “cycle of murder”.

The 18 detainees in Evin Prison — including rights activists Narges Mohammadi, Bahareh Hedayat, Saba Kordafshari, Sepideh Gholian, Fariba Asadi, and Gelareh Abbasi — said the executions of Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rehnavard — are a “blatant crime”.

They said they will sit in the office of the prison warden to protest against the death sentences, and they asked Iranians to occupy the streets, chanting “No to Execution”, and to continue nationwide strikes.


A judicial official has boasted of prison sentences between 2 and 10 years for 400 protesters in and near Iran’s capital Tehran.

Ali Alghasi-Mehr, the judiciary chief for Tehran province, said, “160 people were sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison, 80 people to two to five years, and 160 people to up to two years.”

The total number of lengthy prison sentences handed down by the regime is unknown. Tehran Province is one of 31 in the Iran.

UN human rights experts estimate that more than 14,000 people have been arrested since the protests, spurred by compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini, began on September 16.

Two protesters have been executed. Nine more have been convicted of offenses carrying the death penalty.


A demonstration at the Free University in Tehran on Tuesday….

A young woman in Hamedan challenges security forces: “We protest. Come kill me. We have nothing to eat!”


The Revolutionary Guards reportedly raided the home of the family of the executed protester Majid Rahnnavard on Monday night.

Witnesses said the Guards briefly arrested Rahnavard’s uncle and brother and destroyed flowers and other memorials that people had laid.


FIFPRO, the organization representing 65,000 professional football players, has posted its concern about the possible execution of Iran’s Amir Nasr-Azadani “after campaigning for women’s rights and basic freedom in his country”.

We stand in solidarity with Amir and call for the immediate removal of his punishment.

Nasr-Azedani was detained on November 27. Iranian chief justice Asadullah Jafari said the footballer has been accused of being a member of an “armed group” involved in the death of three security officers during protests in Isfahan in central Iran.


The European Union has sanctioned another 24 Iranian individuals and five entities over the regime’s crackdown on nationwide protests and its supply of drones for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers condemned the “widespread” use of force against the protests for rights and justice, now in their 13th week, and they cited Russia’s use of Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones in strikes on Ukraine’s civilians and energy infrastructure.

Among the 24 individuals sanctioned are the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army, Sayyed Abdolrahim Mousavi; Deputy Interior Minister Brig. Gen. Seyyed Majid Mirahmadi; Revolutionary Guards commanders; staff of State broadcaster IRIB, including director Peyman Jebelli; and hardline Tehran Friday Prayers leader Ahmad Khatami.

IRIB is also sanctioned as an entity.


The Iranian currency continues its historic slide today, slumping to 383,000:1 v. the US dollar.

The rial has dropped another 1.3% on Tuesday and has lost almost 20% in value since nationwide protests began on September 16.


A group of senior clerics and scholars from Iran’s theological schools have condemned the executions of Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard.

In a public statement, the clerics challenge the hasty imposition of the death penalty, with less than a month between arrest and execution, and say the punishments are not proportional to the crimes committed.

They called on the judiciary to halt further executions.

A Basij militiaman, Mohamadreza Ghanbartalab, called for the reversal of the death sentence on the protester, Mahan Sadrat, charged with assaulting him: “I urgently beg you not to execute Mahan.”

Sadrat’s execution was reportedly scheduled on Sunday, but suspended with hours to go.

However, judiciary head Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i brushed aside the clerics and the pleas for leniency. He said on Monday that judges can decide what constitutes being an “enemy of God”, the sweeping charge that carries the death penalty.

The head of the clerical judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, said on Monday that it was well within the authority of the judges to decide what constitutes being an enemy of God. And the deputy interior minister, Majid Mirahmadi, was quoted by Iranian news outlets on Saturday as saying that the media and international outrage around executing protesters would have no effect on the decisions of judiciary officials.


Following the executions of two protesters, grandmothers plead with Iran’s judicial officials to spare the lives of their detained grandsons.

The father of a protester facing exeuction — 20-year-old karate champion Mehdi Karami, a 20-year-old karate champion — says his Government-appointed lawyer will not answer calls and the family does not know the address of his law practice.

“Every night I fear they will tell me the news of my child’s execution,” Mashallah Karami, a peddler who sells napkins and tissues on the streets, says. “I beg you in God’s name, don’t execute my child! Give him a life sentence instead.”


The Iranian currency, already at an all-time low, continues to sink.

The rial has lost almost 2% since Sunday, and is now at 377,900:1 v. the US dollar.

The currency had plateaued after its previous low in October at about 366,000:1, but its slide resumed last week. It has now lost about 16% in value since the start of the nationwide protests on September 16.


An Iranian court has imposed 10-year prison sentences of two leading members of persecuted Baha’i religious community.

Mahvash Sabet, 69, and Fariba Kamalabadi, 60, were sentenced on November 21 after a one-hour trial, said the Baha’i International Community.

Both women had previously served 10-year prison terms over their activism. They were arrested in late July as the regime launched a new crackdown on the estimated 300,000 Baha’i members in Iran.

See also 70+ Activists Criticize Iran’s Detentions, Denial of Rights to Baha’i Community


Iranian authorities have executed a second participant in protests, now in their 13th week, over rights and justice.

Mizan, the website of the Iranian judiciary, said Majidreza Rahnavard was killed this morning in Mashhad in northeast Iran before an audience of dozens.

Mizan published several photos of Rahnavard, hands tied and dangling by the neck from a crane. Masked security forces cordoned off the area.

Rahnavard was convicted in a closed-door trial of slaying two security personnel.

Like Mohsen Shekari, who was executed last Thursday, there was less than a month between Rahnavard’s arrest and his execution.

Iranian officials have promised more killings in the near future. At least 11 people face the death penalty after convictions, and more are indicted on charges that could led to execution.

The UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Javaid Rehman, warned at the end of November that the threat of execution was likely to “intensify”, after a 26-6 vote in the UN Human Rights Council authorizing an investigation of the regime’s crackdown.

A clip of the mother of Mohsen Shekari learning of his execution last Thursday:


A scene from Iran’s religious city of Qom on Saturday….

And from Isfahan:


The Iranian currency has slipped further on Sunday after sinking to a historic low yesterday.

The currency is now at 371,400:1 v. the US dollar, down more than 0.3% after Saturday’s low mark of 370,200:1.

The rial, which was 45:000:1 in January 2018, has fallen another 14% since September 16.


The Supreme Leader’s niece, Farideh Moradkhani, has been sentenced to three years in prison over her criticism of the regime and her support of nationwide protests now in their 13th week.

Moradkhani’s lawyer confirmed the sentence. He said Moradkhani, seized on November 23, was tried in a clerical court which is independent of the Iranian judiciary and answers only to Ayatollah Khamenei.

Aghasi said he was barred from attending the hearing, with Moradkhani sentenced to 15 years behind bars. The court allowed his appeal and reduced the sentence to three years.

Moradkhani was arrested after she condemned the “clear and obvious oppression” to which Iranians have been subjected. She described the authorities, led by her uncle, as a “murderous and child-killing regime”.

Last week Moradkhani’s mother and the Supreme Leader’s sister, Badri Hosseini Khamenei denounced the regime and called on the Revolutionary Guards to lay down their weapons.

I think it is appropriate now to declare that I oppose my brother’s actions and I express my sympathy with all mothers mourning the crimes of the Islamic Republic, from the time of [the Republic’s founder Ayatollah] Khomeini to the current era of the despotic caliphate of Ali Khamenei.


Iran’s currency has sunk to a new historic low against the US dollar.

The rial is now at 370,200:1 v. the dollar, breaking the mark of 364,600 set in early November.o

The rial has plummeted for years amid economic problems and US-led sanctions, sinking from a level of 45,000:1 in January 2018. It has lost almost 14% in value since protests began on September 16 over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody ,after she was detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police”.


Iran’s leading Sunni cleric, Molavi Abdol Hamid, has continued his challenge to the regime crackdown and killing and detentions of protesters.

Abdul Hamid is the Friday Prayer leader in Zahedan in southeast Iran, where security forces have killed more than 100 worshippers and demonstrators. He has said that the Supreme Leader and other Iranian officials are responsible for the deaths.

On Friday, he criticized the execution of Mohsen Shekari the previous day:

When someone has not killed but only blocked a road and stabbed and injured a Basij member with a knife, he cannot be put to death under sharia.

Listen to these protests and negotiate with the people of Iran. Beating, killing and executing this nation is not right. This protest will not be quelled by killing people.


The family of Shadman Ahmadi, 22, says he was tortured to death in a detention center in Dehgolan in Iranian Kurdistan.

Ahmadi was seized during a protest on Thursday.

A Telegram channel linked to the Revolutionary Guards said a young “rebel” who “destroyed public property and created intimidation and disruption of public order” died of drug use after his arrest. No evidence was provided for the claim.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network says at least 15 Iranian Kurds, including 12 minors, have been killed by security forces during the 12-week protests.


Anger and concern is growing inside and outside Iran over the regime’s use of the death penalty against protesters.

Mohsen Shekari, 23, was hung on Thursday on spurious charges of stabbing a police officer and blocking a street. More than 20 other detainees face execution, including 11 who have been sentenced.

European Union foreign policy head Josep Borrell spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Friday about Shekari’s execution.

Borrell called for an immediate halt to the killing of detainees, as well to repression of protests. He said the regime must “respect the fundamental freedoms of the Iranian people”.

Videos showed people lighting candles in front of Shekari’s home late Friday. People shouted from rooftops throughout the night, “We are all Mohsen” and “[Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei is a murderer”.

Speaking at a ceremony for security forces killed during the protests, President Ebrahim Raisi pledged that the regime crackdown will continue and possibly intensify: “The identification, trial and punishment of the perpetrators of the martyrdom of security forces will be pursued with determination.”

Tehran Friday Prayers leader Ahmad Khatami thanked “the judiciary for sending the first rioter to the gallows”.


Canada has added 22 Iranians to its sanctions list over human rights violations, including senior members of the judiciary, prison system, and law enforcement; political leaders; senior aides of the Supreme Leader; and staff in State media outlets.

The UK has sanctioned another 10 Iranian entities over the violations.


After Iran’s security forces killed a 20-year-old protester, Iranian authorities tried to capitalize on his murder by portraying him as a victim of demonstrators.

On November 13 in Shiraz in southwestern Iran, a demonstrator was jumped and beaten by five security officers after he fell to the ground.

University student Omid Moayidi was among a crowd trying to intervene, held off by the officers threatening to shoot the fallen man in the head. Reinforced by additional personnel, the officers fired three warning shots into the air and charged. Two more shots were heard, and Moayidi was dead.

Eyewitnesses said Moayidi was shot in the back and, as he lay on the ground, in the forehead. His body was soon taken away, with the family only told of his death three days later.

Meanwhile, authorities said Moayidi was a “martyr”, a bystander hit by a bullet fired by protesters as he was driving.

Moayidi’s family filed an official complaint with the local branch of the Intelligence Ministry, demanding to know who killed Moayidi. Authorities responded with pressure for the university student’s burial as a martyr, with the regime paying for the ceremony.

Despite threats that Moayidi’s brother and father could be arrested, the family refused. “His mother said, ‘You killed my child…do whatever you want [to us]’,” said a source close to the Moayidis.

Moayidi was eventually buried in a private ceremony, with the ceremony limited to close relatives and a ban on any announcement. Hundreds of security forces watched over the 50 people who attended.

Since then, the family has been pressured to repeat the official narrative on radio and TV that Moayidi was a victim of protesters.


Students at Tehran University say they were beaten back by security forces as they tried to protest the arrival of President Ebrahim Raisi to deliver a speech on Wednesday.

Raisi was trying to take attention away from nationwide demonstrations on National Student Day. The Students’ Union Council of Tehran University said several students were injured and bloodied by security forces.

Despite the attempt to repress dissent, students gathered in different parts of the university and chanted slogans such as “Women, Life, Freedom”.

Students also reported a heavy security presence and assaults at Tehran’s Amirkabir University and Mashhad’s Ferdowsi University.

ORIGINAL ENTRY, DEC 8: Iran’s regime has carried out its first execution of a demonstrator during the 12-week protests across the country.

Mizan, the official site of Iran’s judiciary, named the slain detainee as Mohsen Shekari, 23 (pictured). He was convicted of allegedly injuring a security officer with a knife and closing off a street in Tehran.

The judiciary of the speed with which it put Shekari to death, saying there was just over a month between the first court session and his execution. There was no public presentation of the evidence against him. Instead, the judiciary produced a claimed “confession” in which Shekari said he was given a long knife by an associate named “Ali” who offered him “good money to participate in the riots”.

Shekari was arrested on September 25, nine days after the start of the protests over compulsory hijab and the death of Mahsa Amini — detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” for “inappropriate attire” — in custody.

The death sentence was imposed November 20 and upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court just before the execution.

The killing came amid a surge in protests and strikes this week, culminating in National Student Day on Wednesday. Despite a heavy security presence, demonstrators continued to gather in cities and towns across Iran.

Iranian courts have imposed 11 death sentences during the protest. More than 15 other detainees, including two journalists who broke the news of Mahsa Amini’s death, have been indicted on charges which could lead to execution.

The UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Javaid Rehman, warned at the end of November that the threat of execution was likely to “intensify”, following a 26-6 vote in the UN Human Rights Council authorizing an investigation of the regime’s crackdown.

Judiciary head Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said earlier this week that some of the death sentences for “corruption on Earth” and “waging war against God” had been upheld by the Supreme Court and “will be carried out soon”.