Iran has executed Ghobadlou, a man with a long-term psychosocial disability, for his alleged involvement in the murder of police officer Farid Karampour during the 2022 Mahsa Amini protests. The execution, confirmed by the Supreme Court of Iran, has ignited a firestorm of controversy both within the country and internationally.
Representative Alireza Varnaseri, speaking on behalf of Masjed Soleiman in the Islamic Consultative Assembly, expressed support for the execution, emphasizing the rights of Karampour’s family and the broader public interest. Varnaseri commended the judiciary for its unwavering commitment to maintaining national security, particularly in cases involving those responsible for it.
However, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) swiftly condemned the execution, raising concerns about unfair trial proceedings and a lack of due process in Ghobadlou’s case and others. The UN experts called upon Iran to adhere to international human rights law and expressed alarm over credible reports that those executed were denied access to legal representation during their detention and trial.
The incident that led to the Mahsa Amini protests began when Mahsa Amini was arrested by Tehran police on September 14, 2022, allegedly for wearing an “improper” hijab. Two hours later, Amini’s family discovered she was in a coma at the hospital, and after two days, the Tehran police announced her death in custody. This incident sparked widespread protests across major cities in Iran, with both domestic and international critics condemning the actions of the Tehran police.
This execution comes on the heels of Iran’s previous controversial actions, including the execution of 17-year-old Hamidreza Azari and the arrest of four individuals, one of whom is a woman alleging ties to Israel’s spy agency Mossad. The UN has repeatedly criticized Iran’s high execution rates, particularly involving minors and activists, calling for the country to align with international standards and abolish the death penalty.
Iran’s legal system, which allows capital punishment, has contributed to its status as a leading country in executions. According to available data, there have already been 52 executions in 2024 alone, further fueling the ongoing debate surrounding Iran’s approach to justice.
In other news, on January 24, 1993, retired US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a prominent figure in the fight for civil rights, passed away in Bethesda, Maryland. For more insights into Marshall’s life and legacy, biographer Juan Williams provides a comprehensive account.
Meanwhile, on the same date in 1996, Jozef Oleksy, the Premier of Poland, resigned following espionage allegations. Former KGB officer Andrzej Milczanowski accused Oleksy of passing classified information while serving as the Polish Minister of Internal Affairs. Despite a military investigation closing due to a lack of evidence, the allegations had a significant impact on Oleksy’s political career.