Italy urges Iran to stop executing people for protesting

Italy urges Iran to stop executing people for protesting

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Italy is urging the Iranian authorities to desist from executing protesters and to enter a dialogue with opposition forces. 

Antonio Tajani, the Foreign Minister of Italy, summoned the Iranian ambassador and explained the position of Italy. Tajani expressed that killing protesters in Iran is completely unacceptable and goes against the norm of all societies. 

He said, “Taking off a veil or participating in a protest is not a crime that can lead to the death penalty anywhere in the world.”

Tajani said the crackdown by the security apparatus “has nothing to do with protecting the national security of the country.”

Tajani continued, “We only ask that women aren’t massacred because they take off their veil… We ask that young women are not condemned to death because they take part in protests, that children are not killed at roadblocks.”

Reuters reports, “Iran hanged two protesters earlier this month: Mohsen Shekari, 23, who was accused of blocking a main road in September and wounding a member of the paramilitary Basij force with a knife, and Majid Reza Rahnavard, 23, who was accused of stabbing to death two Basij members, and he was publicly hanged from a construction crane.”

It is known that just over 500 people have been killed since the protests began. This includes 69 minors. Attacks against the security forces have also been responsible for killing over 60 members – with ensuing battles notably high in ethnic areas. 

The Guardian reports, “Protests have gripped Iran since September after an Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, died in custody following her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code for women.”

The sister of Ayatollah Khamenei condemned the authoritarian regime strongly – unlike the moderate undertones of Mohammad Khatami. 

Badri Hosseini Khamenei said, “I think it is appropriate now to declare that I oppose my brother’s actions and I express my sympathy with all mothers mourning the crimes of the Islamic Republic, from the time of Khomeini to the current era of the despotic caliphate of Ali Khamenei.”

She continued, “Ali Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guards and mercenaries should lay down their weapons as soon as possible and join the people before it is too late.”

Masha Amini (22), Sarina Esmailzadeh (16), Hadis Najafi (22), Nika Shakarami (16), and many others should be alive and enjoying life. Instead, they were killed by the state apparatus – alongside hundreds of more people killed since the protests began.

Italy is hoping that authorities in Iran will listen to the international community, which is alarmed by the situation. However, the state apparatus will likely install more tyranny – if history repeats itself. 

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