An Iranian judiciary official has said that a woman and 10 men have been charged over the death of a member of the Basij paramilitary force in the city of Karaj last week.
Local media quoted the judiciary chief of Alborz province as saying on November 12 that the militiaman, identified as Ruhollah Ajamian, was killed by “rioters.” The term is used by official to describe anti-government protesters who have taken to the streets across Iran over the past weeks.
The official, Hossein Fazeli Harikandi, said that some of those indicted were facing charges of "corruption on Earth," which is punishable by death. They are also accused of serious disturbance of public order leading to murder, gathering with the intention to commit crimes against the country's security and propaganda against the state.
The incident occurred on November 3 when mourners were paying tribute to a slain protester, Hadis Najafi, at a cemetery to mark 40 days after she was killed by security forces.
Iran has been swept by demonstrations since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on September 16 following her arrest by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly not complying with hijab regulations. The protest movement has turned into the biggest challenge for the clerical regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Security services have unleashed a fierce crackdown on the mainly peaceful protests in which at least 300 people have been killed, including 40 children, according to one human rights organization. Thousands of people have been arrested.
At least 40 Iranian security forces have also been killed and thousands wounded since the wave of protests kicked off, officials say.
The United Nations' top human rights body is to hold a special session on Iran in the wake of the state crackdown on protesters, threats against journalists and other human rights violations.
The Human Rights Council will hold the session in the week of November 21 following a diplomatic request by Germany and Iceland.
Germany sent a letter to the council offices on November 11 announcing the call for a special session "to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially with respect to women and children."
Meanwhile, UN rights experts urged Iran’s authorities to stop indicting people with charges punishable by death for alleged participation in rallies.
“We fear that women and girls, who have been at the forefront of protests, and especially women human rights defenders, who have been arrested and jailed for demanding the end of systemic and systematic discriminatory laws, policies and practices might be particularly targeted,” the experts said in a statement.
After meeting a delegation of exiled Iranian rights activists on November 11, French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the protest movement as a "revolution.” The activists included Masih Alinejad and Ladan Boroumand.
The United States and European Union have imposed additional sanctions on Iran over its brutal treatment of demonstrators. EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on additional sanctions on November 14.