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UK condemned Iran's execution of British-Iranian citizen Alireza Akbari


Alireza Akbari worked as an Iranian civil servant, and was executed for working as a spy for MI6, the British intelligence agency, among other charges. It is the latest in a series of executions carried out by a regime grappling with unprecedented protests across the country.

Iran executes 2 other protesters and sentences 3 to death 3:29

(CNN) --

Iran has hanged a British-Iranian citizen accused of espionage and corruption, a state-affiliated media outlet reported Saturday.

It is the latest in a series of executions carried out by a regime grappling with unprecedented protests across the country.

The Iranian official, Alireza Akbari, was executed for crimes including "corruption on Earth," according to the outlet Mizan, affiliated with the Iranian judiciary.

Akbari was charged with working as a spy for MI6, the British intelligence agency, and allegedly paying more than $2 million in various currencies (1.805 million euros, 265,000 British pounds and $50,000), state media reported on Saturday. Iranians.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was "appalled by the execution."

And he added on Twitter: “This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime that does not respect the human rights of its own people.

My thoughts are with Alireza's friends and family."

I am appalled by the execution of British-Iranian citizen Alireza Akbari in Iran.

This was a callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime with no respect for the human rights of their own people.

My thoughts are with Alireza's friends and family from her.


— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) January 14, 2023

Akbari allegedly provided information to foreign officials about 178 Iranian figures, including the country's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iranian media reported.

Fakhrizadeh was killed by a remote-controlled machine gun operating from a car in 2020, according to state-affiliated Fars News.

Iran's senior officials then accused Israel of masterminding the assassination plot, without providing any evidence.

Akbari allegedly carried out his intelligence work through a private company focused on research and trade activities, working directly with research institutes in London that Iran says were run by intelligence officials, the state news agency reported. Iran, IRNA.

The same source also cited allegations that Akbari met with an MI6 intelligence officer and former British ambassador to Iran, Richard Dalton.

Iran's Supreme Court upheld Akbari's death sentence after finding it based on "substantiated evidence," according to IRNA.

  • Executions are not new in Iran, but this time they are different

Mizan did not specify when the execution took place.

Akbari's death sentence was announced just days ago, on January 11, following his conviction for spying for the UK.

Akbari had denied the charges.

According to allegations published in Mizan on Wednesday, Akbari had been arrested "some time ago."

The BBC reported that Akbari was arrested in 2019.

“On this basis and after filing an indictment against the defendant, the file was forwarded to the court and hearings were held in the presence of the defendant's lawyer and based on the valid documents in the file of this person, he was sentenced to death for spy for the UK,” Mizan said.

Protests over executions in Iran.

Akbari had previously served as Iran's deputy defense minister and director of the Institute for Strategic Research, as well as a member of the military organization that implemented the United Nations resolution ending the Iran-Iraq war, according to the reformist outlet. Iranian Shargh Daily.

He served under Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a reformer who served from 1997 to 2005, according to the BBC.

Although Iran does not recognize dual nationality, the execution of a person with British citizenship is likely to further stoke tensions between Tehran and Western democracies, which have criticized the regime's response to anti-government demonstrations that began in September last year.

Iran has long been ranked among the world's top executioner countries, and Akbari is one of three people to receive a death sentence in the first weeks of 2023. Two young men, a karate champion and a volunteer children's coach, were hanged last weekend after being found guilty of killing a member of the country's Basij paramilitary force.

The two allegedly took part in protests that began after a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, died in the custody of the country's moral police.

Amini's death sparked mass demonstrations across the country against a regime often criticized as theocratic and dictatorial.

  • Heartbreaking pleas of fathers and mothers ignored: Iran hanged 2 more protesters for protesting against the government

Critics accused Tehran of responding to protests with excessive force (activism groups HRANA and Iran Human Rights say 481 protesters were killed) and of using the country's unfair judicial system to intimidate would-be protesters.

United Nations human rights chief Volker Türk alleged that Tehran was “weaponizing” criminal proceedings to carry out the “state-sanctioned killing” of protesters.

Up to 41 more protesters have received death sentences in recent months, according to statements by both Iranian officials and Iranian media reviewed by CNN and 1500Tasvir, but the number could be even higher.

Iranian state media reported that dozens of government agents, from security officials to officers of the Basij paramilitary force, were killed amid the unrest.

Although Akbari's execution was apparently unrelated to the recent protests, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley claimed the act was "politically motivated".

He said Iran's charge d'affaires would be summoned for the execution "to make clear our disgust at Iran's actions."

“The execution of the British-Iranian Alireza Akbari is a barbaric act that deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Through this politically motivated act, the Iranian regime has once again demonstrated its callous disregard for human life," Cleverly said on Twitter.

“This will not go unanswered.”

The UK government had urged Iran not to execute Akbari, and the Foreign Office said it would continue to support his family.

Amnesty International called Akbari's execution "particularly horrific" and a "hateful assault on the right to life".

The human rights organization said Akbari had said he was forcibly administered chemicals, kept in prolonged solitary confinement and forced to make repeatedly recorded "confessions".

Amnesty urged the UK government to "fully investigate" these allegations of torture and ill-treatment and "seek all avenues to hold the Iranian authorities to account."

CNN's Niamh Kennedy, Angus Watson and Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.

United Kingdom

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-01-14

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