Iran Court Upholds Death Penalty for Opposition Activist

March 3, 2010
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian opposition-run Web site says an appeals court has upheld the death sentence for a student who took part in an anti-government rally in December that left eight people dead.

The kaleme site reported late Tuesday that 20-year-old Mohammad Amin Valian had testified he threw stones at security forces and plainclothes pro-government militiamen as they “savagely” beat demonstrators during the rally in Tehran.

Valian was found guilty of Moharebeh — a religious offense that translates as defiance of God, a crime punishable by death under Iranian law.

So far, Iran has executed two people and sentenced 11 others — including Valian — to death for taking part in opposition protests that have challenged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s proclaimed election victory.

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