A clerical group in Iran demands more blood and urges the authorities to use more inhumane measures against protesters.
According to the reports, an influential hardliner group of clerics claims that the law used against protesters in Iran is too lenient and demands punishment by amputation rather than exiling them.
The Association of Qom Seminary Teachers, which is an influential hardline clerical group in Iran, has called on the Islamic Republic's authorities to continue executing protesters but also punish them by cutting their fingers and toes.https://t.co/KWiEfTXpNf pic.twitter.com/g28fnQzEz4
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) December 24, 2022
In a statement on Saturday, the Association of Qom Seminary Teachers not only urged the authorities to continue with the executions but also to punish protesters by cutting their fingers and toes to stop more people from joining the protests.
The Jame'e Moddaresin-e Howzeh Elmiye-ye Qom association suggests that anyone who participates in anti-government protests to "instigate fear in society" is to be treated as a belligerent (mohareb). Iran's Sharia laws treat belligerence as punishable by death, crucifixion, severance of limbs, and/or exile.
In murder cases, the victims' families can use the "right to blood" for retribution. Here the family members can choose from the death sentence, demanding "blood money" as in receiving compensation for the death or simply forgiving the murderer. However, Ayatollah Abbas Ka'abi, a member of the clerical group, said that even if the family forgave the killer, a belligerent protester should still be punished.
Another member of the group, who goes by the name Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, has said that participating in a protest may or may not have a direct link with the deaths of government forces. It should be treated as an act of hostility, and those belligerent individuals would be found guilty of "corruption on earth."
As the loyal followers of the Iranian ruler Ali Khamenei, the clerics are also regime insiders who receive various perks and benefits. Yet that did not stop them from abusing that power to bend a 1,400-year-old concept of crime as a countermeasure for political dissent.
While talking about the current exile law, which is too lenient to "prevent crimes," the clerics association suggested that "The severing of fingers of one hand and toes of the opposite foot could be effective [as a deterrent punishment]" if a person "instigates fear in society, without the involvement of the [opposition] media and without urging others to follow suit."
Many Shitte religious scholars have expressed their opposition to this interpretation of Islamic law. However, the regime prefers the harsh approach.
If there is a killing involved or not, protesting is a "crime" that should be punished by death if they commit it with the "goal of causing fear and a sense of insecurity in the society and knowing that these actions would be publicized domestically and abroad," the group stated. They also claim that exiling would be ineffective as they believe it would "ruin" the image of Iran around the globe, and the government will suffer the cost.
These events show the regime's extreme sensitivity to media coverage of its despotic acts, primarily by foreign television channels broadcast in Persian.
At least forty protesters are in imminent danger of facing the death penalty by courts, with their rights wholly violated. On December 8th, the Islamic Republic hanged 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari after a secret Revolutionary Court trial. Four days later, another 23-year-old, Majidreza Rahnavard, was hanged in the streets of Mashhad by a group of insiders who called for a "public hanging."
In the second execution in just a few days, a 23-year-old protester was hanged from a construction crane at dawn in the city of Mashhad, galvanizing a new wave of demonstrations against Iran's clerical regime.https://t.co/KUzepxGEhv
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) December 13, 2022
Aside from intellectuals, politicians, and activists in Iran, some former officials and high-ranked clerics denounced these horrific acts.
Scholar Ayatollah Mostafa Mohaqeq-Damad has condemned the protester killings and suggested leniency. Meanwhile, Sunni cleric Mowlavi Abdolhamid Esmail-Zehi voiced his opposition to the death sentences passed on the protesters, saying that these are not religiously justifiable and harsh consequences awaits them. "No ruler has such authority," he said defiantly.
Rights organizations, activists, western officials, and politicians worldwide have condemned the killings and suggested the Iranian government stop administering death sentences. Many European parliaments have offered political sponsorship to detained protesters at risk of facing execution or being sentenced to death.