Over 500 People Executed By Iran In 2022 – Rights Group

File photo of Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi. AFP

 

Iran has executed more than 500 people so far in 2022, far more than in the whole of last year, a rights group said Monday.

Norway-based group Iran Human Rights told AFP at least 504 people had now been executed in Iran this year and that it was still working to confirm additional cases of people said to have been hanged.

The figure comes as concern grows that the authorities will make extensive use of the death penalty against people involved in the anti-regime protests that have erupted in Iran since September.

IHR’s count includes four people who official media said were put to death on Sunday accused of working with Israel’s intelligence service.

The rights group said they were executed in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj outside Tehran — also known as Gohardasht — within just seven months of arrest.

“These individuals were sentenced to death without due process or a fair trial behind the closed doors of the Revolutionary Court,” said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam in a statement. “Their sentences lacked all legal validity.”

“These executions are intended to create societal fear and divert public attention from the Islamic republic’s intelligence failures,” he added.

Another of those recently hanged was a woman executed on Saturday in Dastgerd in central Iran accused of murdering her father-in-law, IHR said.

Rights groups have expressed alarm over the numbers of women executed in Iran, often on charges of murdering parters or relatives in abusive relationships.

IHR said that the numbers executed this year are already the highest in five years.

According to its data, at least 333 people were executed in 2021, a 25 percent increase compared to 267 in 2020.

Amnesty International meanwhile put the number of recorded executions in Iran last year at 314 — higher than in any other country worldwide, it says, while noting such data is not available for China, where it believes annual executions run into the thousands.

Six people have already been sentenced to death over Iran’s protests in what IHR calls “show trials without access to their lawyers and due process.”

It says 26 people, including three minors, are currently facing charges that could see them hanged.

The authorities have described those accused as rioters who attacked security forces and public buildings, but the circumstances of the cases are disputed by activists.

AFP

Protest-Hit Iran Abolishes Morality Police

In this file photo taken on April 22, 2007 Iranian morality police stand to check the women for their clothing and hair during a crackdown to enforce Islamic dress code in west of Tehran. AFP

 

Iran has scrapped its morality police after more than two months of protests triggered by the arrest of Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the country’s strict female dress code, local media said Sunday.

“Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary” and have been abolished, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

READ ALSO: Iran Executes Four Over Links To Israeli Intelligence

His comment came at a religious conference where he responded to a participant who asked “why the morality police were being shut down”, the report said.

The morality police — known formally as the Gasht-e Ershad or “Guidance Patrol” — were established under hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to “spread the culture of modesty and hijab”, the female head covering.

The units began patrols in 2006.

The announcement of their abolition came a day after Montazeri said that “both parliament and the judiciary are working (on the issue)” of whether the law requiring women to cover their heads needs to be changed.

President Ebrahim Raisi said in televised comments Saturday that Iran’s republican and Islamic foundations were constitutionally entrenched “but there are methods of implementing the constitution that can be flexible”.

AFP

Iran Executes Four Over Links To Israeli Intelligence

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi gives a news conference in the capital Tehran, on June 18, 2021. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)

 

Iran on Sunday put to death four people accused of working with Israel’s intelligence service, the judiciary said.

“This morning, the sentences of four main members of the gang of mobsters related to the Zionist intelligence service were executed,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported.

Iran carried out the sentences four days after the Islamic republic’s supreme court upheld the penalty of capital punishment for “their intelligence cooperation with the Zionist regime (Israel) and kidnapping”, the Mizan Online said.

There was no recourse to appeal after Wednesday’s decision, it added.

Mizan identified the men as Hossein Ordoukhanzadeh, Shahin Imani Mahmoudabad, Milad Ashrafi Atbatan and Manouchehr Shahbandi Bojandi, without elaborating on their backgrounds.

Three other defendants were sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison for crimes against the country’s security, complicity in kidnapping and possession of weapons, the judiciary’s website said after the Wednesday ruling.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a years-long shadow war. The Islamic republic accuses Israel of carrying out sabotage attacks against its nuclear sites and assassinations, including of scientists.

On May 22, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it had arrested members of “a network acting under the direction of the Israeli intelligence service”.

“These people committed theft, destruction of personal and public property, kidnapping and extortion of false confessions,” a Guards statement said at the time.

In late July Iran reported additional arrests, of several people allegedly linked to Israel’s Mossad. These included alleged members of a banned Kurdish rebel group that was planning to target “sensitive sites”.

The executions come at a time of heightened tensions in Iran after more than two months of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin died on September 16 after morality police in Tehran arrested her for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic’s dress code for women.

More than 300 people have been killed in the unrest, including dozens of security force members, an Iranian general said on Monday.

Thousands have been arrested, among them around 40 foreigners.

Iran accuses the United States and its allies, including Britain, Israel, and Kurdish groups based outside the country, of fomenting the street violence which the government calls “riots”.

Iran’s judiciary has already confirmed six death sentences over the protests, and rights group Amnesty International says that, based on official reports, at least 21 people currently on trial are charged with crimes that could see them hanged.

Iran currently executes more people annually than any nation other than China, according to rights groups.

AFP

Three Teens Among 15 Iranians Facing Death Penalty

This UGC image posted on Twitter reportedly on October 26, 2022 shows an unveiled woman standing on top of a vehicle as thousands make their way towards Aichi cemetery in Saqez, Mahsa Amini’s home town in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan, to mark 40 days since her death, defying heightened security measures as part of a bloody crackdown on women-led protests. (Photo by UGC / AFP).

 

Three Iranian teenagers are among 15 people who could face the death penalty over the killing of a pro-government paramilitary force member, the judiciary said Wednesday.

Iran has been rocked by street violence since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s dress code for women.

A group of 15 people was charged with “corruption on earth” over the death of Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij paramilitary force, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported.


READ ALSO: Protester Shot By Hong Kong Police Jailed For Six Years


Prosecutors allege Ajamian, 27, was stripped naked and killed on November 3 in Karaj, a city west of Tehran, by a group of mourners who had been paying tribute to a slain protester.

Initially, on November 12, Mizan Online announced charges for 11 people over Ajamian’s killing, including a woman.

But on Wednesday, as the trial opened, it said 15 defendants in the case had been charged with “corruption on earth” — a sharia-related charge that is a capital crime in the Islamic republic.

“Three of the accused are aged 17” and their cases would be dealt with by a juvenile court, the website added.

An Iranian general said on Monday that more than 300 people have been killed in the unrest, including dozens of security force members, and thousands have been arrested, among them around 40 foreigners.

More than 2,000 people have been charged with offences, according to the authorities.

At least six people have so far been sentenced to death, their fates now depending on the supreme court which rules on appeals.

Fireworks As Iran Kurdistan Protesters Celebrate US World Cup Win

Iranian fans watch the match between their national football team and the USA during the Qatar 2022 World Cup, on a giant screen at Milad Tower in the capital Tehran, on November 29, 2022. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)

 

Protesters in Iranian Kurdistan let off fireworks and celebrated after Iran lost to arch foe the United States in the World Cup on Tuesday, according to social media videos.

The Islamic republic has deployed state security forces against what it labels “riots” that broke out after 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died on September 16, three days after her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran’s dress code for women.

Her hometown of Saqez, as well as other cities in the western province of Kurdistan, have been a flashpoint for protests against the clerical rule.

“Saqez citizens have started to celebrate and use fireworks after America’s first goal against Iran’s football team,” said the London-based Iran Wire website on Twitter.

It shared a video showing fireworks with sounds of cheering in the background. AFP could not immediately verify the content.

Another video by Kurdish activist Kaveh Ghoreishi showed a neighbourhood at night in Sanandaj city with sounds of cheering and horns blaring after the United States scored what was the only goal of the match.

Fireworks were also used in Mahabad, another city in Kurdistan, following Iran’s loss, according to videos shared online.

The Norway-based Hengaw human rights group said Iranian motorists celebrated the US victory by honking their horns in Mahabad.

It said fireworks also lit up the sky in Marivan, another city in Kurdistan province where security forces have waged a deadly crackdown on the protests.

Fireworks and cheering were also heard in Paveh and Sarpol-e Zahab, in Kermanshah province, it added.

The Iranian national team had faced a double whammy of government and public pressure following the protests, with some Iranians going as far as rooting for the opposing teams.

“Who would’ve ever thought I’d jump three meters and celebrate America’s goal!” tweeted Iranian game journalist Saeed Zafarany after the loss.

Podcaster Elahe Khosravi also tweeted: “This is what playing in the middle gets you. They lost to the people, the opponent, and even” the government.

“They lost. Both on and off the pitch,” tweeted Iran-based journalist Amir Ebtehaj.

The US victory sent Iran out of the World Cup and ensured the Islamic republic’s arch enemy a place in the knockout phase of the tournament in Qatar.

“And the Islamic republic football team’s circus is over,” tweeted former journalist Hamid Jafari.

“Now the news of oppression can’t be hidden behind the win or loss of the security forces’ favourite team,” he wrote, referring to videos of the Iranian police celebrating the team’s previous win against Wales while deployed in the streets.

Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights says at least 448 people have been killed by Iran’s security forces in the crackdown on more than two months of protests.

PHOTOS: Top Moments From Day 6 | Qatar 2022

Qatar vs Senegal

 

Qatar’s defender #17 Ismaiel Mohammed reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Senegal at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

 

Senegal’s forward #09 Boulaye Dia (R) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal with Senegal’s forward #18 Ismaila Sarr (L) during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Senegal at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Senegal fans celebrate their win after the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Senegal at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Senegal’s forward #19 Famara Diedhiou reacts after the final whistle of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Senegal at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

 

Senegal’s forward #20 Bamba Dieng (C) fights for the ball with Qatar’s defender #03 Karim Hassan Abdel (L) and Qatar’s midfielder #23 Assim Madibo (R) during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Senegal at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

 

Qatar’s Spanish coach Felix Sanchez reacts from the sidelines during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Senegal at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

Wales vs Iran

Iran’s midfielder #16 Mehdi Torabi and Iran’s defender #15 Roozbeh Cheshmi celebrate their team’s victory during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

TOPSHOT – Iran’s players celebrate after scoring the opening goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)

 

TOPSHOT – Wales’ forward #11 Gareth Bale reacts following his team’s defeat during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

Wales’ defender #03 Neco Williams reacts following his team’s defeat during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

TOPSHOT – Iran’s fans celebrate at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Fadel Senna / AFP)

 

TOPSHOT – Wales’ goalkeeper #01 Wayne Hennessey flies off his line and collides with Iran’s forward #09 Mehdi Taremi during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

 

Iran’s midfielder #07 Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Iran’s forward #09 Mehdi Taremi, and Iran’s forward #10 Karim Ansarifard applaud the fans during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Iran Stun Wales As Wayne Hennessey Sees Red

Wales’ forward #11 Gareth Bale reacts at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

 

Goals from Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian left Wales fighting to save their World cup dream as Wayne Hennessey was sent off  following a violent tackle on Taremi,

Iran showed they wanted the win much more than their European contingents as they hit the post twice in quick succession. Azmoun was the first and Gholizadeh the second.

Wales goalkeeper, Hennessey became the first player to be sent off in the Qatar tournament for clattering into Mehdi Taremi late in the game.

Iran, who would have been eliminated with a defeat, instead climbed to second in Group B behind England, against whom they had lost 6-2 in their opening game.

Wales tumbled to the bottom of the group and will have to defeat neighbours England in their final match next week to have any chance of reaching the knockout phase in their first World Cup since 1958.

The United States take on England later on Friday.

The Iran players opted to sing the national anthem in contrast to their stance before the game against England, when they remained silent in an apparent gesture of solidarity with anti-government protestors.

Some Iranian fans were in tears during the anthem.

– Wales start brightly –

Wales manager Rob Page elected to start striker Kieffer Moore after his impressive appearance as a substitute against the USA.

The Bournemouth man’s flick-on led to an early effort from Neco Williams that flew just over the crossbar.

The Welsh carved out the first clear chance in the 12th minute as Moore stretched to volley Connor Roberts’ cross, but goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini was able to parry his effort.

Iran thought they had taken the lead minutes later, although Ali Gholizadeh was clearly offside before he tapped in and the goal was ruled out by VAR.

A cagey game burst into life with a crazy 20-second spell shortly after half-time. Sardar Azmoun sped clear of the Welsh defence but saw his shot come back off the post.

The ball was recycled to Gholizadeh, who cut inside and curled an excellent strike from outside the box, which bounced away off the other upright, with Azmoun’s follow-up saved by a floored Hennessey.

Iran suddenly looked like scoring every time they went forward and Ethan Ampadu had to make an excellent block to deny Taremi the opening goal.

Wales had Hennessey to thank for staying on level terms with 17 minutes left, as he stretched to tip Saeid Ezatolahi’s low shot around the post.

The game opened up in the final minutes as both sides knew they likely needed more than a draw.

Iran were given a huge boost in their push for a winner when Hennessey recklessly charged out of his goal and crashed into Mehdi Taremi in the 86th minute.

Remarkably, Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar only initially booked the ‘keeper, but that was corrected after a VAR review and Hennessey was dismissed.

Leicester’s Danny Ward took his place and quickly saw Mehdi Torabi’s effort fly past his post.

But an emotional day for Iran and their fans were given its crowning moments right at the death when Cheshmi hammered home from the edge of the box and Rezaeian raced clear to clip over Ward.

World Cup 2022: Day 2 In Photos

Fireworks explode around a giant replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy before the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

England vs Iran

A general view shows England and Iran players listening to their national anthems during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

 

England’s midfielder #22 Jude Bellingham (C) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

England’s midfielder #22 Jude Bellingham (unseen) scores the opening goal past Iran’s goalkeeper #24 Hossein Hosseini during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

 

Iran’s goalkeeper #24 Hossein Hosseini dives to stop the ball after England’s forward #17 Bukayo Saka scored his team’s second goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

England’s forward #17 Bukayo Saka (R) celebrates after he scored during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Fadel Senna / AFP)

 

England’s forward #09 Harry Kane (L) and Iran’s defender #08 Morteza Pouraliganji collide during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

 

England’s forward #09 Harry Kane (L) receives medical attention after sustaining an injury during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

 

Iran’s goalkeeper #24 Hossein Hosseini dives to stop the ball after England’s forward #10 Raheem Sterling scored his team’s third goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

 

England’s forward #10 Raheem Sterling (L) celebrates with forward #09 Harry Kane after scoring his team’s third goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

England’s midfielder #19 Mason Mount (L) heads the ball past Iran’s midfielder #11 Vahid Amiri during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

 

Iran’s forward #09 Mehdi Taremi (C) scores past England’s goalkeeper #01 Jordan Pickford during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

 

Iran’s forward #09 Mehdi Taremi (2L) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

England’s forward #17 Bukayo Saka (top) scores his team’s fourth goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

 

England’s forward #11 Marcus Rashford (2R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Former England player David Beckham (top 2nd R) and FIFA President Gianni Infantino (bottom L) attend the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

England’s forward #07 Jack Grealish (R) celebrates with teammate forward #20 Phil Foden after scoring his team’s sixth goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Iranian players gather during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)

 

England’s defender #06 Harry Maguire (C) is helped by his teammates after being injured during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

England’s goalkeeper #01 Jordan Pickford (C) fails to stop a penalty goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Senegal vs Netherlands

Fireworks go off next to a FIFA World Cup trophy replica ahead the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

 

Senegal’s (L) team and Netherlands’ team pose for pictures ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

 

Netherlands’ forward #08 Cody Gakpo (R) misses a chance during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Senegal fans cheer on their team ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

 

Senegal’s forward #18 Ismaila Sarr (L) and Netherlands’ defender #22 Denzel Dumfries lie on the pitch during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

 

Senegal’s goalkeeper #01 Edouard Mendy (L) jumps for the ball as Netherlands’ forward #18 Vincent Janssen (2nd R) approaches during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Senegal’s defender #22 Abdou Diallo (2ndR) fights for the ball with Netherlands’ forward #18 Vincent Janssen (L) and Netherlands’ defender #22 Denzel Dumfries during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

 

Senegal’s forward #18 Ismaila Sarr (L) lies on the pitch as Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio speaks to him during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

 

Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio (C) talks with Netherlands’ defender #05 Nathan Ake (L) next to Netherlands’ defender #17 Daley Blind during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

 

Netherlands’ defender #04 Virgil van Dijk (3rd R) reacts to a missed chance as Senegal’s goalkeeper #16 Edouard Mendy (C) gestures as the ball goes over the bar during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio (L) shows a yellow card to Netherlands’ defender #03 Matthijs De Ligt (2nd L) during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Senegal’s midfielder #08 Cheikhou Kouyate leaves the pitch in a stretcher during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

 

Netherlands’ forward #08 Cody Gakpo (L) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

 

Netherlands’ forward #08 Cody Gakpo (3rdR) celebrates with teammates after he scored the opening goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

 

Netherlands’ midfielder #14 Davy Klaassen (L) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

 

Netherlands’ forward #10 Memphis Depay (C) and Netherlands’ defender #17 Daley Blind (4th R) celebrate at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Senegal and the Netherlands at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

USA vs Wales

USA’s forward #21 Timothy Weah (R) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between USA and Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

 

USA’s goalkeeper #01 Matt Turner celebrates the opening goal scored by USA’s forward #21 Timothy Weah during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between USA and Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)

 

TOPSHOT – Wales’ forward #11 Gareth Bale celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between USA and Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

 

Wales’ forward #11 Gareth Bale applauds the fans after the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between USA and Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Iran Launches New Strikes Against Kurdish Groups In Iraq

This UGC image posted on Twitter reportedly on October 26, 2022 shows an unveiled woman standing on top of a vehicle as thousands make their way towards Aichi cemetery in Saqez, Mahsa Amini’s home town in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan, to mark 40 days since her death, defying heightened security measures as part of a bloody crackdown on women-led protests.

 

Iran launched fresh strikes against Kurdish opposition groups based in Iraqi Kurdistan late Sunday, the groups and local officials said, the second such attack in a week.

Tehran accuses the groups of stoking unrest in Iran, which has been rocked by two months of protests sparked by the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22.

Amini died in custody on September 16, days after her arrest by Iran’s morality police for allegedly breaching the country’s strict dress code for women.

Iran’s “Revolutionary Guard Corps have again bombarded Iranian Kurdish parties”, the counter-terrorism department of Iraqi Kurdistan said, without mentioning if there were casualties.


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The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) said Iran had targeted it with missiles and suicide drones in Koya and Jejnikan, near Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

“These indiscriminate attacks are occurring at a time when the terrorist regime of Iran is unable to stop the ongoing demonstrations in (Iranian) Kurdistan,” the PDKI, the oldest Kurdish party in Iran, said.

Iranian Kurdish nationalist group Komala said strikes had also targeted its installations in northern Iraq.

“Our HQ was once again attacked by the Islamic Regime tonight. We’ve been carefully prepared for these types of attacks & have no losses for the moment,” it said on Twitter.

The US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East, condemned the “illegal” Iranian strikes near Arbil.

“We condemn this evening’s Iranian cross-border missile and unmanned aerial vehicle strikes,” Centcom commander General Michael Kurilla said in a statement.

“Such indiscriminate and illegal attacks place civilians at risk, violate Iraqi sovereignty, and jeopardise the hard-fought security and stability of Iraq and the Middle East.”

The Iraqi state news agency INA early Monday also reported on the attacks, referring to “Iranian missile and drone strikes” against “three Iranian opposition parties in (Iraqi) Kurdistan”.

The new strikes come less than a week after similar cross-border attacks by Iran which killed at least one person.

Tehran accuses Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups based in northern Iraq of stoking the “riots” at home and has stepped up its attacks since the protests began.

Iran launched attacks in late September that killed more than a dozen people in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

Iraqi Kurdistan hosts several Iranian Kurdish opposition groups which have in the past waged an armed insurrection against Tehran.

In recent years their activities have declined, but the wave of protests in Iran has again stoked tensions.

Iran Calls Fresh EU Sanctions Irrational

A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

 

Iran on Tuesday strongly criticised and threatened to respond to new European Union sanctions targeting it over a crackdown on protests.

“With their dependence on sanctions the Europeans lose all rationality and seriousness,” foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency.

“Iran will respond effectively and forcefully to Europe’s unconstructive actions,” he added.

On Monday, the EU announced further sanctions on Iran in response to the crackdown on protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini on September 16.

The visa bans and asset freezes apply to 29 Iranian officials, including the country’s interior minister, along with three institutions.

Among those organisations was Iran’s state-owned broadcaster Press TV, accused by the EU of screening “forced confessions of detainees”.

The EU’s “wrong approach… reduces the scope of its relations”, Kanani said.

The list of European Union sanctions against Iran has reached 126 people and 11 institutions.

AFP

Iran Launches Deadly Missile, Drone strikes On Iraqi Exiled Kurds

Iran

 

Iran launched a wave of cross-border missile and drone strikes Monday against Kurdish opposition groups based in northern Iraq, where local authorities reported one death and eight wounded.

Tehran previously launched attacks that killed more than a dozen people in Iraq’s Kurdistan region in late September, after accusing Kurdish armed groups based there of stoking a wave of unrest that has rocked the Islamic republic.

Iran has been hit by almost two months of protests since the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22, after she was arrested by the country’s feared morality police for allegedly breaching the strict dress code for women.

An Iranian military source confirmed that “Iran has carried out attacks with drones and missiles targeting the headquarters of terrorist parties in the northern region of Iraq,” said Iran’s Fars News Agency, managed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Tariq al-Haidari, mayor of Koysanjaq in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, told AFP that “five Iranian missiles targeted a building used by the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran”.

“One person is dead and eight wounded,” said the health ministry in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Other strikes hit elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“Four drone strikes” targeted bases of the Iranian Communist Party and the Iranian Kurdish nationalist group Komala in the Zrgoiz region, said Atta Seqzi, one of the leaders of Komala.

READ ALSO: Turkey Accuses Blacklisted Kurdish Group of Istanbul Attack

The groups had been “warned of the imminence of the strikes” and evacuated the installations, he said, adding that they had suffered “no death or injury”.

The cross-border missile and drone strikes in late September saw Iraq’s federal government call in the Iranian ambassador to protest the attacks.

The UN mission in Iraq at the time deplored the attacks, saying “rocket diplomacy is a reckless act with devastating consequences”.

Iraqi Kurdistan hosts several Iranian Kurdish opposition groups which have in the past waged an armed insurrection against Tehran.

In recent years their activities have declined, but the wave of protests in Iran triggered by Amini’s death have again stoked tensions between Tehran and

Kurdish opposition groups.

The protests in Iran quickly moved beyond Kurdish areas into a broad nationwide movement that continues to rock the Islamic republic.

Demonstrators have continued to take to the streets despite a crackdown by the authorities that has killed 326 people, according to Iran Human Rights, an organisation based in Oslo.

AFP

Iranians Defy Crackdown As Another Teen Reported Killed

 

Iranians staged new protest actions Thursday in defiance of a crackdown by the authorities as a rights groups said an 18-year-old became the latest teen killed in clashes in the northwest.

Iran has for over six weeks been gripped by protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini who had been arrested by the notorious morality police — a movement that poses the biggest challenge to the Islamic republic since the 1979 revolution.

The clerical leadership under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 83, has responded with a crackdown that as well as killing dozens has seen 1,000 people charged so far and according to activists risking the death penalty.

With the movement no signs of abating, the problems for the authorities are compounded by the tradition in Iran of holding a “chehelom” mourning ceremony 40 days after a death, meaning each new killing can fuel new protest actions.

Norway-based group Iran Human Rights said large numbers in the city of Karaj outside Tehran were Thursday attending a 40-day ceremony for Hadis Najafi, a 22-year-old woman activists say was killed by security forces in September.

IHR said police had blocked the highway leading to the cemetery to prevent even larger numbers attending.

“This year is the year of blood, Seyyed Ali (Khamenei) will be toppled,” the video showed them chanting.

‘Show trials’

The Kurdish rights organisation Hengaw reported a sequence of protests had taken place Wednesday in the Kurdish-populated regions of northwestern Iran where Amini hailed from, including the city of Sanandaj which has become a major protest flashpoint.

It said Momen Zandkarimi, 18-year-old from Sanandaj, was killed by direct fire from Iranian security forces.

Due to the pressure from Iranian security agencies who fear his funeral could turn into a protest, his body has been moved to another village for burial, it added.

According to an updated death toll issued Wednesday by IHR, 176 people have been killed in the crackdown on protests sparked by Amini’s death.

Another 101 people have lost their lives in a distinct protest wave in Zahedan in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Of all those killed, 40 were under 18 years of age, it added.

Thousands have been arrested nationwide, rights activists say, while Iran’s judiciary has said 1,000 people had already been charged over what it describes as “riots”.

The trial of five men charged with offences that can carry the death penalty over the protests opened Saturday in Tehran.

“The charges and sentences have no legal validity and their sole purpose is to commit more violence and create societal fear,” said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, condemning the “show trials”.

Hadi Ghaemi, head of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, warned that courts handing down death sentences would be a “blatant attempt to terrorise the Iranian people into silence”.

‘Brutal crackdown’

Activists condemned as a forced confession a video published by state-run Iranian media of Toomaj Salehi, a prominent rapper arrested at the weekend after backing the protests, in which a blindfolded man saying he is Salehi admits to making “a mistake”.

Freedom of expression group Article 19 said it was “extremely disturbed Iran state media are sharing forced confessions” with the subject “under clear duress”.

He is currently being held incommunicado under the control of intelligence agents in Tehran’s Evin prison, his uncle Iqbal Iqbali told news site Iran Wire.

At least 51 journalists have been detained in the protest crackdown, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Fourteen are confirmed to have been released on bail.

Journalist Yaghma Fashkhami became the latest prominent figure to be arrested, his wife Mona Moafi wrote on Twitter.

There is also growing concern over the wellbeing of Wall Street Journal contributor and freedom of expression campaigner Hassan Ronaghi, who was arrested in September and according to his family is on hunger strike with two broken legs sustained in custody.

On Wednesday, US Vice President Kamala Harris saluted the “bravery” of the women-led protests, as she said Washington would work to remove Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

“Iran has demonstrated through its denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on its own people that it is unfit to serve on this commission,” Harris said.