The Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Iran has stayed the execution of a convicted 19-year-old protester, local media report, after his supporters held a rally outside the prison where he was being held.
"The execution of Mohammad Baroghani, who was arrested and sentenced to death during the recent protests, has been stayed," the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported on January 11.
It did not provide further details.
Human rights organizations have condemned the death sentences handed to around 20 people in connection with the nationwide demonstrations that have swept Iran for nearly four months.
Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Baroghani on October 29, after holding only one hearing, on the charge of "waging war against God." The defendant did not have a lawyer during the proceedings.
The young man was accused of injuring a government official and of "attacking the Pakdasht governorate (eds: in Tehran Province) with mobs and setting fire” to the building.
The court said the sentence was based on evidence provided by videos found in the defendant’s cellphone and his confessions. The judge claimed that one of the clips shows him "holding a machete."
Iranian authorities routinely extract confessions from political prisoners or their family members by force.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Rejaei Shahr prison in Karaj late on January 8 in an attempt to prevent the reported imminent execution of Baroghani and another convict, Mohammad Ghobadlou.
The opposition activist collective 1500tasvir earlier said that the two inmates had been transferred to solitary confinement at the prison, which is often a preliminary step before execution.
Iran has been rocked by anti-establishment protests since the September death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of morality police.
The protest movement was met with a bloody crackdown by security forces in which more than 500 people have been killed and over 18,000 arrested, according to activists.
Two of young men sentenced to death in connection with the protests were hanged on January 7 amid international outrage, bringing to four the number of people executed so far.
The protest movement represents one of the most serious challenges to the theocracy installed by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.