Tehran, Dec 9 (EFE).- Iranian activists on Friday called for new protests to denounce the execution of Mohsen Shekari, the first person to be put to death after he was convicted for taking part in demonstrations that have gripped the country since mid-September.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Javanan-e Tehran (‘Tehran Youth’) said Shakari was “martyred for the freedom of the country” and urged protesters to march on Saturday in central Tehran.
The statement added that the protesters would not stop until they have secured “the overthrow of the child-killing system and revenge for the blood of our loved ones.”
Shekari, who was 23 years old, was hanged on Thursday for allegedly blocking a street in Tehran and attacking a member of the Basij — volunteers of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard — with a knife.
His execution sparked protests overnight on Thursday, according to 1500tasvir, an activist collective, on Twitter, who also denounced that Mohsen’s family was “under severe pressure” from authorities and that their neighborhood was “full of agents” hours after the execution.
In other areas of Tehran, shouts of the slogans “death to the dictator,” and “death to the Revolutionary Guards” were heard.
Shekari’s execution has provoked a barrage of international criticism.
The European Union condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the execution and urged Tehran to end capital punishment.
Ten other prisoners have been sentenced to death for their participation in the protests over the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. They are likely to be executed in the upcoming days.
The Iranian government has defended its actions and accused Western countries of having double standards and of inciting the protests.
“Iran has employed proportionate and standard anti-riot methods.” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter, adding: “The same is true for the judicial process: restraint and proportionality.”
The protests over the death of Amini after she was detained by morality police for not wearing her headscarf properly have grown into calls for the end of the Islamic Republic founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.
In the nearly three months of protests, more than 400 people have been killed and at least 15,000 have been arrested, according to the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights.
Iranian authorities last week announced the disbanding of their so-called morality police, but the compulsory wearing of the veil was left in place.EFE