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Bishop of Chelmsford decries ‘heart-breaking’ executions in Iran

by Tola Mbakwe
Bishop of Chelmsford house of lords.PNG thumb.PNG - Banner image
Parliament TV screenshot

The Bishop of Chelmsford has condemned recent public executions in Iran.

On Monday the Islamic Republic hanged a man in public who had been convicted of killing two members of the security forces.

Iran’s judiciary's Mizan news agency reported: "Majid Reza Rahnavard was hanged in public in (the holy Shi'ite city of) Mashhad this morning... He was sentenced to death for 'waging war against God' after stabbing to death two members of the security forces.”The news agency also published pictures of the execution, which showed Rahnavard hanging from a construction crane.

It was second execution in less than a week of those involved in anti-government protests.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Monday, Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani who is of Iranian heritage said: “"The news of the executions in Iran is deeply concerning and heart-breaking.

"I declare an interest as someone who originally comes from Iran and still has friends and loved ones there.

"There are likely to be many more executions still to come, with a dozen death sentences already issued."

She asked how the government is supporting Iranians in the UK who are seeking to ensure the safety of loved ones in Iran.

Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park replied that in situations where someone living in the UK makes the government aware that a loved one is in danger, the UK government is doing “everything it can to try to exert pressure and facilitate the speedy resolution of whatever the particular case is”.

He said there are one or two cases he is personally involved in, and that dealing with Iran has proved to be incredibly difficult.

The executions come after three months of unrest in Iran after the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old died while in custody of Iran’s morality police.

Meanwhile, European Union foreign ministers imposed new sanctions on Iran on Monday over its crackdown of anti-government protests and its drone deliveries to Russia.EU ministers added 20 people and one entity to its sanctions list over human rights abuses.  Four more people and four entities were added in relation to drones.


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