Iran executed two men on Saturday, bringing the total number of executions linked to the protests that have gripped the country since September to four, according to the state-affiliated Fars News outlet.
Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini were hanged early Saturday morning, Fars News reported. The couple, who allegedly took part in anti-regime protests last year, were found guilty of the November 3 killing of Seyed Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the country’s paramilitary Basij, in Karaj, according to Iran’s judicial news agency Mizan.
Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, a lawyer working for Karami, tweeted on Saturday that Karami was not given a final right to speak to his family before his execution. The lawyer added that Karami began a dry food hunger strike on Wednesday to protest officials who did not allow Aghasi to represent him.
In December, Karami’s parents took advantage of a plea for his life on social media. “Please, I would ask you to remove the death warrant from my son’s file,” said the 21-year-old karate champion’s father.
As many as 41 other protesters in Iran have been sentenced to death, according to statements by Iranian officials and Iranian media verified by CNN and 1500Tasvir, but the number could be much higher.
Meanwhile, the political editor of the independent Iranian newspaper Etemad Online, Mehdi Beyk, has been arrested, according to a tweet from the publication on Thursday. The arrest comes amid a crackdown by Iranian authorities following protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last year after she was arrested by state morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly. The protests have since merged around a range of grievances with the authoritarian regime.
Beyk was arrested by officials from the Iranian Ministry of Information, his wife Zahra Beyk said on Friday.
He was arrested after “interviewing the families of several of those arrested in the ongoing demonstrations,” according to pro-reformist activist IranWire.
“The journalist’s cell phone, laptop and belongings were confiscated,” his wife tweeted. It is not yet clear why Beyk was arrested.
Iranian officials have previously arrested some people for criticizing the government’s response to the demonstrations.
One of Iran’s best-known actresses, Taraneh Alidoosti, was released on bail on Wednesday, state-affiliated ISNA said, after being arrested after criticizing the execution of a protester.
Known as a feminist activist, Alidoosti last month posted a picture of herself on Instagram without the Islamic hijab and holding a sign that reads “Women, Life, Freedom” to show her support for the protest movement.
Alidoosti was not formally charged, but was initially arrested for “lack of evidence to support her claims” in connection with her protest at the hanging of Mohsen Shekari last month, in the first known execution linked to the protests.