Iran executes man accused of spying on Quds general for US and Israel


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Iranians have demanded an end to executions after three anti-government protesters Amirhosein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi and Mohamad Rajabi were sentenced to death CREDIT: Iran Human rights Monitor

Campbell MacDiarmid

The Telegraph

July 20, 2020, 5:20 AM


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Iran executed a man convicted of spying for the US and Israel, state TV reported Monday, days after an online campaign against capital punishment shared by millions of Iranians prompted the judiciary to suspend the death sentence against three young protesters. Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, who was arrested in 2018, was put to death on Monday on espionage charges, Iran’s judiciary said. He was “linked to the CIA and the Mossad” and had spied on former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qassim Soleimani, the judiciary said in June. Majd reportedly worked as a translator for the Revolutionary Guards in Syria and was accused of sharing Soleimani’s location in return for US dollar payments, according to judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili. Photos shared online purported to show Majd in the company of Soleimani, and in Syria alongside other Revolutionary Guards commanders. The case was not connected to Soleimani’s killing by a US drone strike in Baghdad in January, the judiciary said. Majd’s family reportedly maintained his innocence. The execution came the day after Iran’s supreme court reportedly agreed to suspend the death sentence against three men involved in protests last November. Amirhossein Moradi, 25, Saeed Tamjidi, 27, and Mohammad Rajabi, 27, were convicted of violent offences in “unfair trials” that depended on confessions obtained under torture, according to UN rights experts. After the judiciary confirmed their death sentences last Tuesday, millions of Iranians flooded social media with protests against capital punishment. But on Sunday, Babak Paknia, a lawyer for the men, told reporters that a request for a retrial had been accepted by the supreme court. Iran executed 251 people last year, more than any country except China, according to Amnesty International. Prisoners executed in recent weeks included a former defence ministry worker accused of being a CIA spy, two Kurdish prisoners convicted of bombing a military parade, and a man convicted of drinking alcohol. Many Iranians have interpreted the executions as a warning from authorities against dissent at a time when it fears further protests. Iran’s economy is contracting amid unilateral US sanctions and the Middle East’s worst Covid-19 epidemic. Disquiet has been further fuelled by a spate of mysterious explosions and fires at industrial, military and nuclear sites across the country that have raised fears of an international sabotage operation against the Islamic republic. At least 304 people were killed and hundreds more arrested in a crackdown following nationwide protests against a rise in petrol prices last November. “There are widespread reports of arbitrary detention of protesters and torture to obtain false confessions,” UN human rights experts wrote last week demanding Iran quash death sentences against protesters.


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