A dual British-Iranian citizen was hanged by Iran on costs of espionage and corruption, a state-affiliated media outlet reported Saturday, the newest in a string of executions carried out by a regime grappling with unprecedented protests across the country.
The Iranian official, Alireza Akbari, was executed for crimes together with “corruption on earth,” in accordance the Iranian judiciary-affiliated outlet Mizan. Akbari had additionally been accused of “extensive cooperation with British intelligence officers” for which he acquired “huge sums of money.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak mentioned he was “appalled by the execution.” He added on Twitter: “This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their own people. My thoughts are with Alireza’s friends and family.”
Mizan didn’t specify when the execution was carried out. Akbari’s demise sentence was introduced simply days in the past, on January 11, after his conviction on spying for the United Kingdom. Akbari had denied the costs.
According to allegations revealed in Mizan on Wednesday, Akbari had been arrested “some time ago.” The BBC reported Akbari was arrested in 2019.
“On this basis and after filing an indictment against the accused, the file was referred to court and hearings were held in the presence of the accused’s lawyer and based on the valid documents in this person’s file, he was sentenced to death for spying for the UK,” Mizan mentioned.
Akbari beforehand served as Iran’s deputy protection minister and was the top of the Strategic Research Institute, in addition to a member of the navy group that applied the United Nations decision that ended the Iran-Iraq conflict, based on Iranian pro-reform outlet Shargh Daily. He served underneath Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist who was in workplace from 1997 to 2005, based on the BBC.
Though Iran doesn’t acknowledge dual nationality, the execution of a person holding British citizenship will seemingly additional gas tensions between Tehran and Western democracies, which have been vital of the regime’s response to anti-government demonstrations that started in September final yr.
Iran has long ranked among the world’s top executioners, and Akbari is certainly one of three people to obtain a demise sentence within the first weeks of 2023. Two younger males, a karate champion and a volunteer kids’s coach, were hanged last weekend after being convicted of killing a member of the nation’s Basij paramilitary drive. Both had allegedly taken half within the protests that started after a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian lady, Mahsa Amini, died whereas in custody of the nation’s morality police.
Amini’s demise sparked large nationwide demonstrations towards a regime usually criticized as theocratic and dictatorial.
Critics have accused Tehran of responding to protests with extreme drive – activist teams HRANA and Iran Human Rights say that 481 protesters have been killed – and utilizing the nation’s unjust judicial system to intimidate would-be demonstrators. United Nations human rights chief Volker Türk alleged that Tehran was “weaponizing” legal procedures to hold out “state-sanctioned killing” of protesters.
As many as 41 extra protesters have acquired demise sentences in latest months, based on statements from each Iranian officers and in Iranian media reviewed by CNN and 1500Tasvir, however the quantity might be a lot increased.
Iranian state media has reported that dozens of presidency brokers, from safety officers to officers of the basij paramilitary drive, have been killed within the unrest.
Though Akbari’s execution was, on its floor, unrelated to the latest protests, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley alleged that the act was “politically motivated.” He mentioned Iran’s cost d’affaires could be summoned over the execution “to make clear our disgust at Iran’s actions.”
“The execution of British-Iranian Alireza Akbari is a barbaric act that deserves condemnation in the strongest possible terms. Through this politically motivated act, the Iranian regime has once again shown its callous disregard for human life,” Cleverly mentioned on Twitter. “This will not stand unchallenged.”
The UK authorities had urged Iran to not execute Akbari, and the Foreign Office mentioned it could proceed to help his household.