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Iranian Gov Radically Escalates Punishments on Protesters, Announces Public Execution

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The Iranian government executed the first protester involved with the massive human rights demonstrations after Masa Amini was killed by police for not wearing a hijab, according to CNN.

Mohsen Shekari was hanged on Thursday after being sentenced to death in October for “injuring a paramilitary officer” during a protest, according to CNN. Iran has been hit with massive protests since the death of Amini in September.

Shekari’s death was the first publicly announced state execution since the protesting began. Five protesters have been sentenced to death, including Shekari, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Masa Amini was arrested by “morality police” on Sept. 16 and was beaten before being taken to a hospital later that day. She died after receiving multiple blows to the head, according to NPR.

In response to her death, thousands of Iranian women burned their hijabs and cut their hair in protest of Iran’s laws that require women’s heads to be covered in public.

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Since Amini’s death 475 protesters have been killed and over 18,000 have been arrested, according to NPR. Iran’s former president Mohammad Khatami called for the Iranian government to be “more lenient” in its handling of the protests on Wednesday, according to CNN.

“I advise the officials to appreciate this presence and instead of dealing with it inappropriately, take a softer approach and listen to them and with their help, recognize the wrong aspects of governance before it is too late for them to move towards good governance,” he said in a statement ahead of Iran’s Student’s Day.

Khatami could not be reached for comment.

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