Iran hangs two in public over Shiraz shrine shooting

The gunman attacked the highly revered Shia Muslim shrine of Shah Cheragh on October 26 (-)

The gunman attacked the highly revered Shia Muslim shrine of Shah Cheragh on October 26 (-)

Iran hanged two men in public on Saturday for an October attack on a shrine in the southern city of Shiraz that left more than a dozen people dead, the judiciary said.

The October 26 attack on the revered Shia Muslim shrine of Shah Cheragh, which left 13 dead and 30 injured, was claimed by the Sunni Muslim extremist group Islamic State (IS).

“The death sentences of two of the perpetrators of the Shah Cheragh terror attack were carried out in public this morning,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said.

The pair were hanged at dawn on a street near the shrine in Shiraz, the capital of Fars province, the official IRNA news agency reported. Mizan identified them as Mohammad Ramez Rashidi and Naeem Hashem Qatali.

Iran had previously said the attack involved people from other countries, including neighboring Afghanistan, but the nationalities of the executed men were not immediately revealed.

The region of Iran that borders Afghanistan and Pakistan is a hotbed of unrest, and on Saturday four armed assailants killed an Iranian policeman in the Sunni-majority town of Zahedan near the same border, state media said.

It was not immediately clear what was behind the attack in the provincial capital of Sistan-Balochistan, a hotbed of clashes with Sunni extremists as well as drug traffickers and Baloch minority rebels.

Mizan said one of the men executed on Saturday, Rashidi, confessed to collaborating with IS to carry out the October shrine attack.

The pair were sentenced to death in March after being found guilty of “corruption on land, armed rebellion and undermining national security”.

They were also charged with belonging to ISIS and “conspiracy against the security of the country”.

– “Takfiri” arrests –

At the time, Fars Chief Justice Kazem Moussavi said they were directly involved in the “armament, supply, logistics and guidance” of the main perpetrator.

Three other defendants in the case were sentenced to five, 15 and 25 years in prison for their membership in IS, he said.

The main attacker, who was later identified by Iranian media as Hamed Badakhshan in his 30s, died from injuries sustained during his arrest, authorities said.

In November, the Islamic Republic said 26 “Takfiri terrorists” from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan had been arrested in connection with the attack.

In Shiite-dominated Iran, the term takfiri generally refers to jihadists or followers of radical Sunni Islam.

The attack on the shrine came more than a month after protests spread across Iran over the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini after her arrest in Tehran. for allegedly violating the country’s dress code for women.

In October, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blamed the “riots” – the term officials used for the protests – for setting the stage for “terrorist” attacks.

IS claimed its first attack in Iran in 2017 when gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Tehran’s parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic republic’s founder, killing 17 people and injuring dozens .

Public executions are relatively rare in Iran, with almost all hangings taking place inside prisons.

Iran executes more people every year than any country other than China, according to rights groups including London-based Amnesty International.

A United Nations fact-finding mission said on July 5 that Iran had executed seven men in connection with the Amini protests, calling on it to end the “crippling” practice.


Leave a Comment