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From the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners NOW:

Rage and Grief Confront New Executions by Iran’s Theocratic Regime

Editors’ note: We received this update from the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners NOW (IEC).

At dawn on Friday, May 19, at Isfahan’s Dastgerd Prison in central Iran, Iran’s filthy mullah regime executed Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi, and Saeed Yaghoubi and quickly buried them. The three men had joined protests during the months of the Women-Life-Freedom uprising. They were rounded up in arbitrary arrests, convicted in sham, torture-tainted trials based on forced then retracted “confessions” (hear Majid Kazemi’s chilling description).1

Three Iranian political prisoners executed May 19, 2023: Saleh Mirhashemi, Majid Kazemi, Saeed Yaghoubi.


Three political prisoners executed May 19, 2023. Left to right: Saleh Mirhashemi was a 36-year-old karate champion and body-building instructor who had just married; Majid Kazemi, 31, had set up his own copper-working shop, and was engaged; Saeed Yaghoubi, 37, was an athlete who supported his aging parents.    Photo: Amnesty International

In the days before their execution, family members and many others protested in front of Dastgerd Prison at night and were attacked by the regime’s thugs. A handwritten note from the three condemned men, smuggled out of prison, read, “Don’t let them kill us,” and was signed “Children of Iran.” It was shared worldwide and inspired many expressions of support, including the publication of this letter. The publication of this letter was sent out on Google Alerts.

Mothers of protesters previously murdered by the regime in Sanandaj, in the province of Kurdistan, released a video of support, holding the photos of their murdered children. By May 17, with executions expected the next morning, the sidewalks around Dastgerd Prison were full, and the streets and highways leading to this dungeon were bumper-to-bumper with hundreds of cars to prevent prosecutors and execution staff from arriving. Security forces attacked them, including with gunfire, but people stayed through the night. Similar protests took place in Tehran (Iran’s capital city) and Sanandaj.

However, the IRI [Islamic Republic of Iran] is out to exact revenge for the recent uprising and spread terror to silence further dissent and resistance. The executions of the three men were carried out two days later, on May 19.

When news of the executions spread, protests broke out in many cities, particularly in Tehran and Isfahan. From apartment windows in Tehran, chants rang out, “Death to the Dictator.” In Zahedan, capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province, hundreds of marchers chanted, “We don’t want the Republic of Executions” and “There are a thousand others behind every person killed!”

Tweet URL
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Another video of student protest gathering at Beheshti University; In front of the repression officers, the students sing the slogan #Zen_Zandangi_Azadi in one voice. #IranRevolution
Saturday, May 30, 1402

As we wrote last week, the horrific surge of executions in Iran continues. As of May 19, 2023, the regime has murdered at least 264 people this year,2 or almost two per day. Most of the executions are for the catchall “drug-related” charges. Among those who continue to face imminent danger of execution are six Arab activists in Ahwaz, a majority Arab area, and at least six Baluchi protesters from the fall 2022 uprising. And there are many more in the gruesome execution “pipeline.”

Protests were called for May 20 by the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims in scores of cities worldwide under the theme of “United Against Executions in Iran.” Stay tuned for reports and plans from the IEC.

We Demand:

Stop the executions!

Free Iran's political prisoners now!

No U.S. threats or war moves against Iran!


Gallery of six Iran political prisoners in imminent danger of execution.


Courtesy of IEC


“Turn your tears to rage... Pound the palace of the oppressors!”
This is the voice of the Mothers of Khavaran Cemetery:3

Rise UP! You whose grief torches your hearts.
Lift your head from where you lie prostrate in mourning
This is not a time to mourn!

It is a time to unleash your rage!
Turn your tears to rage! Shout out your rage!
Raise your rage in a fist, to shatter the palace of the oppressors!

Rise up.
The tulips and hyacinths are gone.
Anemones are waiting for your kind hands.4

They have drenched the meadows red with blood!
So, rise hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder
Keep the Zhina revolution alive and on track!

May the outcry from the Mothers of Khavaran be your guiding light.
Rise up, mothers
O oppressed people of history, rise up!
Before the city walls are covered with [memorial] photos
Of those whose hearts yet beat with life and love


Poem by Shafagh, one of the Mothers of the Laleh Park5
Thursday, May 18, 2023

Published in a tweet and translated to English by IEC volunteers.



1. On November 16, 2022, a large number of protesters were caught up in a dragnet, all arbitrarily charged with the shooting deaths of two Basijis (plainclothes militiamen) and one cop at a protest in the “Isfahan House” district. The trials presented no evidence linking these men or other defendants to the killing nor that they were armed. There were the only confessions obtained through horrific torture and threats against their families, which they retracted in court. None of the defendants were allowed to choose their own lawyer. They were convicted of “waging war on God” in a trial that lasted four days. “More executions of protesters in Iran imminent after sham trials,” Center for Human Rights in Iran, May 17, 2023; Iran executes three men accused over anti-government protests,” The Guardian, May 19, 2023. [back]

2. Daily update on; IRI does not publicize many of its executions, especially in oppressed nationality regions, so this statistic, based on media reports and internal contacts, is conservative [back]

3. Mothers of Khavaran is an organization of mothers of victims of the massacre of thousands of political prisoners in the 1980s, whose bodies were hidden in mass graves in Khavaran Cemetery. [back]

4. Note by translator from Farsi: Tulip and hyacinth flowers often symbolize love and beauty. Anemone is a Greek word, "daughter-of-the-wind," and the anemone flower symbolizes anticipation of time to come. [back]

5. Mothers of Laleh Park is an organization of mothers of victims of the regime’s repression of the 2009 Green Movement. [back]


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