DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced an anti-government protester to death and sentenced five others to prison terms, state media said Sunday, amid ongoing unrest in the country.
The verdict is likely to be the first death sentence in the trial of people who were arrested for taking part in the protests that have swept across Iran in recent weeks demanding the end of clerical rule.
According to Mizan, a news portal linked to Iran’s justice system, the death sentence was carried out on charges of setting fire to the protesting government building. The five prison terms ranged from 5 to 10 years and alleged national security and public order violations.
Mizan said separate branches of the Revolutionary Court handed down the rulings, but did not provide further details about the protesters on trial, who may appeal the rulings.
The court was established following the Islamic revolutions of 1979 and is known for harsh punishments for those who oppose Iran’s clerical rulers.
Iran has already charged hundreds of detained protesters, saying it will hold a public trial against them.
The anti-government protests, now in their eighth week, were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.
Judicial authorities have indicted hundreds of people in other Iranian provinces. Some were accused of “earthly corruption” and “war against God”, which carry the death penalty.
Security forces, including paramilitary Revolutionary Guard volunteers, violently crushed the protests, killing more than 300 people, including dozens of children, according to the Oslo-based Iranian Human Rights Organization. According to Iranian authorities, more than 40 security forces have also been killed in the nationwide unrest.
Although the protests were first aimed at ending Iran’s mandatory headscarf, or hijab, it has since become one of the biggest challenges to the ruling clerics since the chaotic years following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.