An Iranian court in the eastern city of Zahedan has sentenced a 22-year-old disabled protester to death on the charge of corruption on Earth," human rights activists say, amid a brutal state crackdown on nationwide anti-government protests.
Mansour Dehmordeh, an ethnic Baluch, went on trial on January 3 and was informed of his sentence by the judge two days later, according to HAALVSH, a group that monitors rights violations of the Sunni minority in Iran.
"Mansour told the judge in court that he only threw three stones and set a tyre on fire, and the judge replied that anyone who protests against [Supreme Leader] Ali Khamenei's government will be sentenced to death," HAALVSH quoted a source as saying.
Dehmordeh, who has a physical condition, worked on buses until his arrest on October 3.
He had a tooth and his nose broken while being subjected to severe torture in an intelligence detention center. He is currently being kept incommunicado in Ward 9 of Zahedan Central Prison.
Iranian security forces have killed more than 500 people, including dozens of children, and detained over 18,000 others since the ongoing widespread protests broke out in September last year, human rights activists say.
At least 100 protesters are currently at risk of “execution, death penalty charges or sentences,” according to one rights group. The Islamic Republic carried out the first two executions by hanging in December, triggering international condemnation.
The demonstrations and state clampdown have been particularly intense in the country’s western Kurdish areas and the province of Sistan and Baluchistan, which Zahedan is the capital of.
The impoverished province is home to Iran's Baluch minority of up to 2 million people. Human rights groups say the Baluch community has faced discrimination and repression for decades.