Kuala Lumpur Post


Iran sentences woman labour activist to death, say rights groups

PARIS — Iranian authorities Thursday sentenced to death a woman labour activist on charges of links to an outlawed Kurdish organisation, rights groups said.

Sharifeh Mohammadi, initially arrested in December in Rasht, Iran, was convicted of the capital crime of rebellion and sentenced to death, said the Norway-based Hengaw and US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency.

She is accused of being a member of the Kurdish separatist Komala party, which is banned in Iran. Hengaw said she endured “physical and mental torture” by intelligence agents while in custody.

A revolutionary court in Rasht, the main city of Gilan province on the Caspian Sea, convicted and sentenced her to death following a hearing, the groups said.

A source close to her family said Mohammadi was a member of a local labour organisation and had “nothing to do with Komala”.

The US-based Iran-focused rights group Abdorrahman Boroumand Center said the death sentence was linked to “her involvement with an independent labour union”.

“This extreme ruling highlights the harsh crackdown on dissent within Iran, particularly against labour activists amid economic turmoil,” it added.

A campaign set up to support her case wrote on its social media accounts that the ruling was “absurd and unfounded” and aimed to create “fear and intimidation” among activists in Gilan province.

Gilan was a major centre for protests that erupted in 2022 after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman arrested for allegedly violating dress rules for women.

Rights activists have accused Iranian authorities of using the death penalty as a tool to intimidate the entire population in response to the protests.

The non-governmental group Iran Human Rights said at least 249 people, including 10 women, were executed in Iran in the first six months of 2024.

It warned of the risk of a “sharp increase” in executions after Iran’s presidential election runoff on Friday, which will pit ultraconservative Saeed Jalili against reformist Masoud Pezeshkian. — AFP