Friday, March 19, 2010

Iran Plans to Execute 6 Arrested in Protests

clipped from www.nytimes.com


Six people arrested in December protests will be put to death, Iranian authorities announced Monday, in what appeared to be strong warning to the opposition ahead of a traditional annual celebration.


The tradition, the Feast of Fire, goes back thousands of years to Zoroastrian times and has been banned in Iran in recent decades because of its non-Islamic roots. The opposition had called for its celebration this year as a sign of protest.


The six people whose sentences were announced Monday were among nine convicted of waging war against God by demonstrating during the commemoration. The death sentence for one was confirmed last month, and he was identified weeks later as a student, Mohammad-Amin Valian, 20. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a New York group, warned this month that he was “in danger of imminent execution.”

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