Iran's Judiciary Says More Than 2,400 Convicted During Protests So Far
By RFE/RL's Radio Farda November 22, 2022
Iran's judiciary says that more than 2,400 people have been convicted of offenses related to unrest sparked by the death of a young woman while in police custody for a dress-code violation, while another 1,118 people have been indicted as part of a government crackdown on dissent and are waiting for their cases to be heard.
Judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi told reporters on November 22 that in total, 2,432 protesters across the country had received preliminary verdicts from courts for playing a role in the demonstrations, which have swept across the country since Mahsa Amini died in mid-September after being detained for allegedly improperly wearing a head scarf.
Setayeshi did not give a total for the number of people arrested, though he did say 40 foreign nationals were among those who have been detained. Some reports by human rights organizations indicate that more than 15,000 people have been detained during the nationwide protests.
He also confirmed the detention of some prominent figures -- including actresses Katayon Riahi and Hengameh Ghaziani -- in recent days and threatened that other celebrities will be prosecuted if they say "false and unsubstantiated words."
Riahi was one of the first Iranian celebrities to remove her hijab in protest of Amini's death, while Ghaziani published pictures of herself standing on a Tehran street without a hijab and tying her hair in a ponytail. Tying one's hair in a ponytail in public has become an act of defiance in Iran in recent weeks.
The moves come amid a brutal crackdown by the government on weeks of unrest -- one of the deepest challenges to the Islamic regime since the revolution in 1979 -- that erupted following the September 16 death of Amini.
Anger over her death has prompted thousands of Iranians to take to the streets to demand more freedoms and women's rights.
Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that some foreigners arrested during the riots had played "a major role" in the unrest. He said these people "are in the hands of the judiciary and are to be dealt with according to the law."
Western countries have repeatedly charged that Iran is trying to take advantage of foreign countries by taking dual and foreign nationals hostage.
Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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