These people are said to have insulted Islam and its prophet and organized to promote atheism.
Tehran, Iran – Two people who “burned the Koran” were executed for blasphemy, including organizing anti-religious events, the judiciary said.
The two men, identified as Yousef Mehrdad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare, were hanged early on Monday, the judiciary’s official news media reported.
It said the case began three years ago when the public reported “obscenity” content by an unnamed group, leading to the judiciary summoning several people, one of whom was Mehdad.
Mehdad was then found to be the administrator and main organizer of 15 online groups and channels that promoted content against Islam and its prophet and promoted atheism, according to the judiciary.
It said Mehrad was found to be working with Fazelizare, who was also accused of running 20 anti-religious online groups.
It said their “insults” were so severe that the Supreme Court did not explicitly cite them when affirming the ruling that paved the way for the men’s executions.
Mehdad’s phone also contained a video of the burning of the Koran, which was shared publicly, the justice department said.
Last year, a group of UN human rights experts said they were concerned about Iran’s criminalization of blasphemy.
“We call on the Iranian authorities to decriminalize blasphemy and take meaningful steps to ensure the right to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of opinion and expression without discrimination,” they said.
Monday’s double hanging was the latest in a string of executions involving a range of crimes over the past two weeks.
The Norway-based Iranian human rights group said last week that Iran had executed 42 people in 10 days, the equivalent of one execution every six hours.
Most of the executions, which have not been announced or commented on by Iranian authorities, were of Baloch convictions for drug offences, it said.
According to Amnesty International, Iran executes more people each year than any other country in the world except China.
Iran’s latest high-profile execution came on Saturday when Iranian-Swedish dual national Habib Chaab was hanged for leading an Arab separatist group responsible for a “terror” attack on a military parade in 2018 that killed 25 people. The mastermind behind the deaths.
The Swedish government and the European Union have condemned Tehran’s execution and said Iran should abandon the death penalty.
Iran’s foreign ministry responded by criticizing European governments for “supporting terrorists” rather than fighting them.
Another high-profile execution in Iran came in January when Alireza Akbari, a former Defense Ministry official, was sentenced to hang for nearly 20 years as a spy for British intelligence. He also holds British citizenship.
A third dual national who could also be executed is Jamshid Sharmahd, an Iranian-German citizen who was sentenced to death for leading a pro-monarchy group accused of organizing “terrorist” operations on Iranian soil, The Supreme Court upheld the death penalty in late April.