Iran stays execution of man sentenced to death for role in anti-government protests

File – Photograph of Mahsa Amini, killed in Iran after being arrested for improperly wearing the veil, during a protest in Germany. – Christoph Reichwein/dpa

Authorities in Iran on Wednesday stayed the execution of a man sentenced to death for his role in anti-government protests since September following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish-Iranian woman arrested in the capital, Tehran, for allegedly wearing the veil incorrectly.

The spokesman for Iran’s Supreme Court, Amir Hashemi, has indicated in declarations granted to the Iranian news agency that the judicial apparatus has decided to «suspend the execution» of the man, identified as Mohamad Ghobadlu, while the accusation against him for homicide is being investigated.

Ghobadlu was convicted in November on charges of «land corruption» following an attack on a police vehicle in Tehran that resulted in the death of a policeman. In December, the Supreme Court rejected the convict’s appeal and upheld his death sentence, without scheduling a date for his execution.

The NGOs Iran Human Rights and Hrana reported last week that between 488 and 527 people have been killed in the crackdown on protests. The authorities have denied responsibility for Amini’s death and have accused Western countries of fueling the protests, although they have acknowledged some abuses and excesses by security forces.