Iran Sentences Police Officer to Death for Killing Man During 2022 Protests

Protests following the killing of Samak in the city of Bandar Anzali (Fars news agency)
Protests following the killing of Samak in the city of Bandar Anzali (Fars news agency)
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Iran Sentences Police Officer to Death for Killing Man During 2022 Protests

Protests following the killing of Samak in the city of Bandar Anzali (Fars news agency)
Protests following the killing of Samak in the city of Bandar Anzali (Fars news agency)

An Iranian court has sentenced a police chief in northern Iran to death after he was charged with the killing of a man during the widespread demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in 2022, local media reported Wednesday.

Rights groups based outside of Iran said Mehran Samak, 27, was shot dead by Iranian security forces after honking his car horn in celebration of Iran's loss to the United States in the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar.

According to AFP, Samak succumbed to injuries he sustained after being hit by shotgun pellets during a rally in the northern city of Bandar Anzali on Nov. 30, 2022.

Local police chief Jafar Javanmardi was arrested in December 2022 following Samak’s death. At the time, the lawyer for the victim's family, Majid Ahmadi, said that the police official was charged with “violating the rules for firearms usage, resulting in the death of Samak.”

He said this is the third time a military court sentences the official to death “in accordance with the Islamic law of retribution, known as the 'qisas' law.”

In mid-January, the judiciary's Mizan Online website said the Supreme Court had annulled two initial death sentences and referred Javanmardi’s case to another court.

At the time, Gilan province, where Bandar Anzali is located, was a flashpoint of the nationwide protest movement that shook Iran after Amini, 22, died in custody in September 2022 following her arrest for allegedly violating the country's strict dress code for women.

On March 8, a report by the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission said Iran’s “repression of peaceful protests” and “institutional discrimination against women and girls” has led to human rights violations, some of which amount to crimes against humanity.

“The mission has established that many of the serious human rights violations amount to crimes against humanity – specifically those of murder; imprisonment; torture; rape and other forms of sexual violence; persecution; enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts,” it said.

The Fact-Finding Mission also found that Tehran arbitrarily executed at least nine young men from December 2022 to January 2024, after summary trials which relied on confessions extracted under torture and ill-treatment.

Credible figures suggest that as many as 551 protesters were killed by the security forces, among them at least 49 women and 68 children. Most deaths were caused by firearms, including assault rifles.



Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)
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Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)

A fire broke out at a hospital in Iran's north, killing nine patients, state media reported Tuesday.

The blaze started at 1:30 local time (2200GMT) at Qaem Hospital in the city of Rasht, some 330 kilometers (about 205 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran, state TV said, leaving six women and three men dead.

Chief of the city fire department, Shahram Momeni, said on state TV that an electric short circuit in the basement — which harbors the intensive care unit — malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Momeni said emergency workers rescued more than 140 people, patients and hospital staff, after being trapped because of the smoke, and that 120 of them were hospitalized in other medical facilities. He added that an investigation has been ordered.

A video posted online appeared to show smoke billowing from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Iranian media occasionally report on fires in hospitals and clinics that are mainly blamed on technical issues.

In 2020, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.